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Employing her distinctive aesthetic and sensual style, with The Beguiled Sofia Coppola adapts Thomas Cullinan's Civil War-set novel into a tale of desire, jealousy and revenge.
Set in 1864, three years into the Civil War, at a Southern girls' boarding school, the girls who remain are those with nowhere else to go. So remaining under the care of Martha Farnsworth (Kidman) they live in their own prim and proper world void of any male influence.
When one of the younger girls discovers an injured enemy soldier it is decided that the 'Christian thing to do' would be to take him in until he is sufficiently recovered. As the soldier, John McBurney (Farrell), recovers he becomes the subject of fascination for the girls and women of the house.
Sexual tension rises and and rivalries form between the women as unexpected events begin to arise.