Three years into the American Civil War, in 1864, the dilapidated mansion of Miss Martha Farnsworth's Seminary for Young Ladies is still running, occupied by the matriarch, a teacher and five students in Spanish moss-draped Virginia. However, when a young student stumbles upon Corporal John McBurney, a wounded Union deserter on the verge of death, the already frail balance of things will be disrupted, as the hesitant headmistress decides to take him in to heal from his injury. Little by little, as the unwelcome guest arouses an uneasy sexual excitation among the women of the secluded boarding school, it is not before long that they will find themselves competing for the alluring man's favour. Undoubtedly, this handsome devil is a manipulator, nevertheless, will the ladies stay forever beguiled by his charm?Written by
For the costumes, designer Stacey Battat saw Kirsten Dunst's character as being romantic and designed her wardrobe with decorated billowy sleeves, diaphanous skirts and more jewelry than the other girls. She gave Nicole Kidman's character a high neckline, a vest and an overall economical tone in order to portray authority and added ruffles to the costumes of Elle Fanning's character, which according to Battat, "really accentuates her horniness." See more »
Actually, the girls who used their right hands to hold their forks are correct. No Southerner would hold their forks in the English manner in the left hand. Americans in general use their right hands to hold their forks. See more »
My being familiar with the original 1971 Clint Eastwood version of this movie, I see that Sophia Coppola stripped away all the rich character development and backstory of Ms Farnsworth's incestuous relationship with her brother as well as the flashbacks that revealed the true conniving nature of John McBurney and the sexual fantasy aspect of these characters which was the basis for their motivation in the story. Miss Coppola seemed to sacrifice all this for the sake of making a film that appear to focus on nothing more than a fancy woman's dress party, as if they were all attending a gala ball every day, as well as some obsession of including trees with Spanish moss in almost every scene filmed at almost every angle with the camera being held on them for an usually prolonged period. The result of which made this film nothing more than a boring shallow one dimensional film and was seemingly made by her for the sake of creating nothing more than a moving piece of art to show female regal apparel and Spanish moss trees.
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