The Beguiled unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events. Based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan and the screeplay by Albert Maltz and Grimes Grice. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes A Shift In Perspective (HD 06:53) and A Southern Style (HD 05:40), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 1.66:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on Kodak film stocked and finished with a 4K Digital Intermediate. Film grain is virtually non-existent. While the aspect ratio is 1.66:1, the production is credited as filmed in Panavision®. The picture exhibits a wonderfully natural appearance, with low-keyed lighting throughout many of the dim interiors lit by candle. The color palette, thus, under such conditions lacks vividness, but hues are richly rendered and flesh is perfectly natural looking. At times flashes of color appear in the period attire, especially the white dresses worn by the women with color accents. Outdoor scenes are rich in natural earth tones, such as the woods and greens surrounding the white-painted mansion. Resolution is excellent, especially with respect to the numerous textural attributes of the house and its architecture and the period attire. Contrast displays deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. This is a warmly rendered period picture with captivating atmospherics that make for a pleasing visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with superior atmospherics, both indoors and in the wooded surroundings, and Foley sound effects. The mansion’s wood floors accentuate every movement of the girls, the two women, and the Corporal. The swishing sound of the women’s gowns is realistic. The Corporal’s fall down the wood plank stairs is also realistic. The sounds of battle in the distance of artillery are faint but also realistic. The sounds of the Corporal’s agony and outburst conveys convincing pain and discomfort. Surround energy is subtle but nicely supportive. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with generally good spatial integration. The music score is scarce but also extends to the surounds, and at times delivers deep bass in the .1 LFE channel. Fidelity is excellent throughout, which enhances the realism of the storytelling. This is an excellent soundtrack with effective sensitivity for the settings. (Gary Reber)