So you’re a wounded Irish Yank (Colin Farrell) who’s fled a Civil War battlefield, and you’re lucky enough to get taken in by the residents of a Southern girls’ school. Your charming blarney and their lonely desperation lead you to consider three romantic possibilities: stay on and help the exquisite widow in charge (Nicole Kidman), run off with the frustrated second-in-command (Kirsten Dunst), or tutor a nymphet (Elle Fanning) in the ways of love. Decisions, decisions. Director Sofia Coppola sets the scene beautifully — and what a scene, all golden light and creamy fabric and empurpled flora pressing in on the majestic manse — but rushes through what should be a slow, delicious, bitchy buildup in favor of violence and a consequent return to sanity (if not quite Christian charity). The general view seems to be that civilization might survive and even flourish if men weren’t around to wreck it with their making of love and war, but where’s the fun in that? (2017) — Matthew Lickona
This movie is not currently in theaters.