Her family may be Hollywood royalty, but Sofia Coppola continues to carve her own path, creating moving, award-winning films about complex women. The latest prize for Sofia Coppola? Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival — only the second woman ever to win the prize — for her film The Beguiled, a very well-deserved award.
The film, a remake of Don Siegel’s 1970s Civil War, reunites actresses Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning with Coppola; Fanning was previously in Coppola’s film Somewhere, and Dunst is a frequent collaborator. The two actresses star in The Beguiled alongside Nicole Kidman and Colin Farell, a truly all-star cast.
The original version of the film, which is about a Union soldier who is forced to take refuge in a Southern all-girls school, largely focused on the sexual magnetism of its star, Clint Eastwood. But Coppola wanted to flip the script and make it more about the women in the film.
“The first thing I thought was Kirsten could be the teacher, Elle could be the naughty student. They’re like my favorite actresses and I wanted to see them together,” the director recalled in an interview with the Washington Post.
And obviously Dunst and Fanning jumped at the chance to work with a director they both love so much.
“Sofia and I have been like: ‘We have to do something together again.’ She emailed me about this. She said, ‘We can make you the bad girl,’” Fanning said, noting that since she is now over 18, she is no longer required to have a family member on set.
Dunst also gave her longtime friend her full support. “Sofia could give me that menu over there and if she said she was making it into a movie, I’d say yes. Not a question.”
The three self-professed “soul sisters” were together in Cannes to promote the film, and no doubt will be celebrating Sofia’s big win together. It’s so important to see girl power on and off screen.