Nicole Kidman vows to support female filmmakers

Lawrence Kim
May 26, 2017

Two are in competition for the Palme d'Or: in Yorgos Lanthimos's The Killing of a Sacred Deer, she co-stars with Colin Farrell as parents beset by a mysterious evil force; and in The Beguiled, from Sofia Coppola, she plays a teacher at an all-girls school in the Civil War South who must decide what to do when an injured Yankee soldier (Farrell again) shows up on the doorstep.

The film, which closed to rapturous applause and got positive early reviews, is the third outing to the world's biggest film festival by Oscar victor Sofia Coppola, one of three female directors vying for the Palme d'Or this year.

The festival, now in its 23rd year, will open June 14 at the Arclight Culver City with the world premiere of "The Book of Henry" and close on June 22 with a showing of Aubrey Plaza's "Ingrid Goes West".

Coppola hadn't seen it until her friend and production designer Anne Ross called her up. On Sunday, the actress' "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" - a 1970s punk-alien romantic romp by John Cameron Mitchell - debuted.

I spent a chunk of the film wondering what here excited Coppola - what was it about the novel that she couldn't wait to bring to the screen? At one point Edwina is chastised for exposing the tops of her shoulders, anything further would be unthinkable in Coppola's world. "Never say never, but I enjoyed making a film like this that's focused on the acting in one location".

Few women remain at the school outside of instructor Edwina Dabney (Kirsten Dunst) and students Alicia (Elle Fanning), Jane (Angourie Rice), Emily (Emma Howard) and Marie (Addison Riecke).

"At the core of it there's the power struggles between the male and female which I think are relevant but hopefully in an entertaining and juicy story", she said.

Nicole Kidman vows to support female filmmakers
Nicole Kidman vows to support female filmmakers

"We shot it thinking of the big screen", she said. "She said, 'We can make you the bad girl, '" said Fanning. "That was a question many were asking in regard to Claire Denis - and not for the first time".

The Beguiled was written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Dunst gives perhaps the most understated and nuanced performance in the picture as a woman so yearning for companionship she'll blindly betray her sisters if she has to.

Kidman delivered another jaw-dropping red carpet ensemble when she slipped into this vampy, embellished Armani Prive gown in celebration of the Cannes Film Festival's 70th anniversary party. At the end, Dunst stretched.

It's not hard to see their effort behind "The Beguiled" as a kind of feminist revision of male-dominated cinema. "I think this was my favourite experience, my favourite shoot", the Irish actor said. All of their gowns were so different, but equally as attractive, and we can't decide who was best dressed.

Elsewhere at the film festival, Robert Pattinson was in town to promote his new film Good Time, a crime drama about a bank robber on the run. "Katharine Hepburn's career. 'The Apartment.' 'Harold and Maude.' When can a movie get financed with an older woman who's going to commit suicide?"

The Oscar-winning actress now has four productions featured at Cannes Film Festival -including "The Beguiled", "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" and the BBC crime drama "Top of the Lake" - and has said the fact that she can simultaneously work in both film and television means her workload has dramatically increased.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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