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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Cinema Review: The Beguiled

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 19 January, 2022

Welcome back to the Brunswick Picture House Brett and Chris from the Brunswick Picture House, and their entire team, believe...

Other News

Queensland NSW border to open up this Saturday

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today (Thursday, 13 January) that the Queensland NSW border would no longer require a...

An unexpected vote for two Rous representatives from Lismore Council

Last night the new Lismore City Council voted for two Councillors to represent Lismore on Rous County Council, even though the agenda was clear that Rous County Council voting had been excluded owing to the requirement for a minimum nomination period of 21 days.

Why is Modern Monetary Theory important?

Since the federal government has no nominal limitations on spending, it means that it can always afford to buy anything for sale in its own currency, including labour. As such, unemployment is a political choice, not an economic imperative.

Renew Fest hosts May vigil for grief

Renew Fest will host a weekend-long Vigil For Grief in May 2022, and will return with the festival itself in 2023.

Community the big winner at Rotary Duck Race

The Richmond River at Fawcett Park in Ballina was full of colour on the weekend for the 30th Rotary Duck Race. The event has raised a quarter of a million dollars for charity over its history in Ballina.

The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

For some reason that I cannot fathom, I still hear people rave about Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation (2003) – I suspect it has something to do with Bill Murray’s cult following. Marie Antoinette (2006) was dreadful and Somewhere (2010) unwatchable, so I should not have been surprised to find that her latest outing is entirely underwhelming and vaguely ridiculous. Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman), with her helper Edwina (Kirsten Dunst), is in charge, as teacher and minder, of a handful of student boarders, including the photogenic Elle Fanning as Alicia.

They all live together in one of those white-columned, ice-cream-cake mansions that seem to exist only in darkly verdant, steamy Georgia. It is 1864, and the Civil War is nearing its bloody conclusion.

The setting is exclusively feminine, something which is tiresomely reiterated in cuts to Martha or Edwina viewing the distant masculine conflagration through a telescope (Coppola benefits from a simplistic attitude that equates quietness with subtlety). Into this claustrophobic, all-female environment comes Corporal McBurney (Colin Farrell), a wounded Union soldier. McBurney, on the mend, is a huge attraction for his pretty carers, all of whom are beguiled by the handsome newcomer’s easy charm – and none of them so much as the more mature, smitten Edwina.

There is a lot of near-seduction going on, but not much else, and Coppola’s decision to shoot her film in what would approximate the candlelight of the period only adds to the dullness. When McBurney finally makes a move on one of his hostesses, the consequences are drastic but comical in a way that Coppola would not have intended. Kidman’s coldness is perfectly suited to the part, but it’s sad to discover that Dunst has evolved into an actress who can be convincingly cast as a frumpy virginal spinster. (The passage of time takes no prisoners.) A gorgeous rendition of Aura Lee was a personal highlight, but overall it’s a bit of a yawn that is silly rather than tragic or creepy. Fabulous frocks (Stacey Battat) steal the show.


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