The Kirsten Dunst Steamy Thriller On Netflix That’s An Incredible Remake

By Chad Langen | Updated

Kirsten Dunst in The Beguiled (2017)

Not to be confused with the 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood, The Beguiled is an American Southern Gothic psychological thriller released in 2017. If you’re interested in exploring its atmospheric tension and stellar performances, the movie is currently streaming on Netflix. This provides an easy avenue for you to dive into Sofia Coppola’s evocative retelling of Thomas Cullinan’s classic novel.

The Beguiled is an intense character study featuring Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell, and Nicole Kidman, now streaming on Netflix.

The Beguiled is set during the American Civil War. The film tells the story of a wounded Union soldier named Corporal John McBurney, who is found in the woods by a young girl named Amy. She takes him to a nearby all-female boarding school where he is cared for and becomes the object of fascination and tension among the women.

As McBurney recovers, he forms complex relationships with the women of the house, including the headmistress, a teacher, and several students. His presence stirs up suppressed desires, jealousy, and rivalry among them. In a bid to win their affection and possibly secure his safety, McBurney attempts to manipulate the situation, leading to mounting tension and an unexpected turn of events.

The Beguiled (2017)

However, the dynamics shift dramatically after an incident causes the women in The Beguiled to question McBurney’s intentions and their own safety. What follows is a series of events driven by mistrust, betrayal, and desperation. The once-charming soldier’s fate becomes grim as the women decide to take matters into their own hands, revealing the dark depths they are willing to go to protect their sanctuary.

The Beguiled boasts a stellar cast led by Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrell. Nicole Kidman plays Martha Farnsworth, the headmistress of the all-girls boarding school where the drama unfolds. Kirsten Dunst portrays Edwina, a teacher at the school who becomes emotionally entangled with the injured soldier, while Elle Fanning plays Alicia, a young student with her own budding interest in the mysterious man.

Upon its release, The Beguiled received a favorable response from critics but faced a more mixed reception from general audiences.

Colin Farrell takes on the role of Corporal McBurney in The Beguiled, the injured Union soldier who becomes the epicenter of tension and intrigue within the secluded institution. Interestingly, Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell collaborated on another 2017 movie, The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Meanwhile, Kirsten Dunst and director Sofia Coppola had previously worked together on the iconic film Marie Antoinette.

In addition to directing The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola also penned the script alongside Albert Maltz and Irene Kamp. Although initially hesitant about a remake, a viewing of the 1971 adaptation, recommended by production designer Anne Ross, changed Coppola’s mind. She was particularly drawn to retelling the story from the women’s perspective.

Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst in The Beguiled (2017)

Principal photography for The Beguiled started on October 31, 2016, and wrapped up on December 7, 2016. Exterior shots were captured at the Madewood Plantation House in Louisiana. Meanwhile, interior scenes were filmed in actress Jennifer Coolidge’s New Orleans home.

The Beguiled debuted at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where Sofia Coppola earned the Best Director award, becoming the second woman to win in that category, 56 years after the first female director won. The film had a limited release on June 23, 2017. It expanded to a wider audience on June 30, 2017.

Despite not achieving universal acclaim nor reaching blockbuster status, The Beguiled remains a film worth exploring.

Upon its release, The Beguiled received a favorable response from critics but faced a more mixed reception from general audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film boasts a solid 78 percent critical score, with reviewers praising its atmospheric tension, stellar performances, and Sofia Coppola’s deft direction. However, many everyday viewers found the pacing slow and the narrative lacking in depth, leading to a significantly lower audience score of 48 percent.

Commercially, The Beguiled had a modest box office performance. With a production budget estimated at around $10 million, the movie grossed approximately $10.7 million in the United States and around $27.9 million globally. Factors such as its niche genre appeal, limited theatrical release, and the intense competition of the summer movie season likely played a role in its modest box office performance.

Despite not achieving universal acclaim nor reaching blockbuster status, The Beguiled remains a film worth exploring. Its rich atmospheric tension, nuanced performances, and Sofia Coppola’s signature directorial touch provide a unique cinematic experience. This film is a hidden gem for those who appreciate intricate storytelling and a deep dive into character dynamics set against a historical backdrop.