Sofia Coppola, She of the Unparalleled Soundtracks and Eponymous Sparkling Wine, has won best director at Cannes for her new film, The Beguiled, becoming only the second woman in the highly-regarded festival’s 70-year history to do so.
The Beguiled, a period piece that seems to mirror the aesthetics of the bleakly stirring The Virgin Suicides, was given a positive reception by critics, with IndieWire calling it “the mustiest and most conventionally entertaining film of Coppola’s brilliant career.” Based on a novel by Thomas Cullinan, the movie is a remake of 1971 drama that centers around a wounded Union soldier taken in by a Virginia girl’s school during the Civil War, to dire and scintillating effect.
Coppola was not available to pick up her award, but in a pre-written speech thanked “my father, who taught me about writing and directing and for sharing his love of cinema, and to my mother for encouraging me to be an artist.” She also thanked the director Jane Campion, who remains the only woman to have won the festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, for her 1993 film The Piano. Prior to Coppola, the last woman to receive the award for Best Director was Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva for The Chronicle of Flaming Years, way back in 1961.
The Beguiled won’t hit theaters until June 30, but you can enjoy the eventful trailer in the meantime: