It's always a big deal when a new Sofia Coppola film is about to hit screens - a fact firmly established early on in the director's career thanks to the likes of Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides.
This year's The Beguiled, premiering at Cannes, is certainly no different, offering a new take on a 1966 novel - and subsequent Clint Eastwood-starring film from 1971 - set in a women's boarding school in 1864 in Virginia at the height of the Civil War.
Of particular interest, and potential awards buzz, is the stellar cast Coppola's managed to collect together: Nicole Kidman plays the headmistress of Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies. Kirsten Dunst plays teacher Edwina, and Elle Fanning plays student Alicia.
The inward-looking world of these young women is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a wounded Union army soldier, played by Colin Farrell. Though the 1971 film focused on the soldier, Coppola will shift the narrative to the women and their relationships with each other and with the man who threatens to disrupt their harmony.
"The main crux of the story is about the dynamics between a group of women all stuck together, and then also the power shifts between men and women," Coppola told Entertainment Weekly, who provided a first look at the film. "So for me, it’s very universal, but it’s in this exotic setting of the Southern gentility."
"I haven’t really done a genre film," she added. "It was fun to figure out how to approach that but still [keep the film] in my style, and to have this kind of beautiful, dreamy world that I like — but with a plot!"
The Beguiled hits UK cinemas 14 July.Reuse content