'Token male' Farrell a good sport, Coppola tells Cannes
Sofia Coppola brought her remake of 'The Beguiled' to Cannes yesterday, putting Dubliner Colin Farrell through the pleasures and pain that Clint Eastwood experienced in the 1971 original.
Nicole Kidman plays the head of a school for young ladies trapped behind the gates of a country mansion during the American Civil War. The arrival of Farrell, an injured soldier, awakens repressed desires. "At the core of it is the power struggles between the male and female... hopefully in an entertaining and juicy story," Coppola said.
Years after seeing the Eastwood movie, by 'Dirty Harry' director Don Siegel, Coppola decided to drop her resistance to remakes.
"The original movie is from the soldier's point of view of this women's world, and I thought it would be interesting to go back and tell the same premise from the women characters' point of view.
"Colin, our token male, was a good sport about being our 'object'," she said of the only significant male presence among a cast that includes Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
The film closed to great applause. Early reviews were positive, although some critics said it lacked some of the punch of the original.
Kidman used the première to call attention to statistics showing the huge gap between male and female directors. A study released earlier this year found just 7pc of 2016's 250 top-grossing films were directed by women - 2pc less than in 2015.
"We as women have to support female directors," said Kidman. "Everyone is saying it's so different now - but it isn't. Look at the statistics."