Nicole Kidman is slaying the game right now. Not like she’s ever not been amazing, but between Big Little Lies, her sass-filled press tour, and now The Beguiled, no one can deny this acting legend is a force to be reckoned with.

And never has Kidman been more powerful and deliciously fearsome than as Martha Farnsworth, the leader of a Virginia girls’ school during the Civil War in The Beguiled.

She dazzles in breathtaking costumes designed by Stacey Battat – honestly, who knew high-collared, floor-length dresses could be so goddamn sexy? It has me hoping Banana Republic releases a Beguiled line… just not in summer.

Miss Martha runs her girls’ school — which is more of an island of misfit toys of those left stranded and trapped by the war – with an iron fist. She is not without a loving, motherly touch… but God help those who cross her and her girls.

Colin Farrell’s John McBurney finds himself in this dark shadow as he shows up uninvited at Miss Martha’s abode, an injured Northern soldier begging for a safe haven.

Some are more wary of the enemy soldier than others. And the film sizzles with sexual tension as Kirsten Dunst’s teacher Edwina Dabney and Elle Fanning’s Alicia are confronted with likely the first man they’ve seen up close in an awful long time. Hell, even the stoic Miss Martha herself seems shaken.

The Beguiled is a moving, slow burn with such stunning visuals I’m already planning a second viewing. Every character shines, from the glorious Kidman to shy school teacher Dunst, flirty student Fanning, and younger pupils Oona Lawrence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, and Emma Howard.

Farrell will have you on edge as the sexy yet mysterious Northern soldier. What are his intentions? Is he really as down and out as he appears? What have these women gotten themselves into?

It’s a beautiful depiction of the collaborative strength of women, and the horrifying lengths one can be taken to by the ruthless and unstoppable will to survive.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Beguiled since my first viewing — and you likely won’t be able to either.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+