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IndieWire Slams ‘Sexist’ Male Critics for ‘Beguiled’ Pans

Critics who self-identify as male take note. Your next review could get attacked for “unconscious bias.” just published a screed against a trio of male critics. Their collective crime? Panning the new Sofia Coppola thriller “The Beguiled.”

The film, a remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1971 potboiler, drew a respectable 78 percent “fresh” rating at Colin Farrell stars in the Eastwood role, playing a Union soldier recuperating at a southern school for girls. Sexual tensions flare with co-stars Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, as does the potential for danger.

The Beguiled Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

Coppola’s film follows the general blueprint of the original film. This critic found the story ultimately tepid, although the strong visuals and authentic setting deserve praise.

Then again, I’m a male critic, too.

IndieWire writer Carrie Rickey might take me to task for that assessment. She won’t find anything sexist in my review, but she doesn’t need any gender smoking gun. She can just make stuff up using the Left’s familiar tool kit.

Code words

Dog whistles

Vague euphemisms

Here’s Rickey, who reviewed films for The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, attacking USA Today critic Brian Pruitt for these “sexist” comments: “It lacks the necessary edge to make it a satisfying revenge thriller.”

Her response?

Necessary edge? Is that a euphemism for a tool that men have and women lack? He likes the atmospheric cinematography while dismissing it as “artsy” and “overly pretentious.” He concludes with, “’The Beguiled’ won’t leave you hot, but more likely bothered.” So the necessary edge it lacks is female nudity that would make it more frankly erotic?

Female nudity? Where did that come from? Oh, yes, Rickey’s feverish imagination.

Next victim? Owen Gleiberman at Variety: “After stripping down the sordid subtext of the 1971 version of ‘The Beguiled,’ [Coppola] was left with a light didactic fable – a trifle of identity politics.”

Reading that, I actually said out loud, “Don’t trifle with me, Owen.” But it was the female identity politics that made my head explode. Is he really saying that when a man makes a movie from his perspective, it’s normative and when a woman makes a movie from hers, it’s identity politics?

We’ll spare you her third assault on Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter. You’re welcome.

Should movies from female directors be spared such criticism? Must male critics tiptoe for fear of offending a hardened feminist like Rickey? Sounds absurd, right? Here’s a related story tied to “The Beguiled.”

Coppola came under fire since the film’s release for not including one character from the Eastwood original – Mae Mercer’s slave character named Hallie (or Mattie in the novel upon which the movies are based). Social Justice Warriors pounced. They called the effort a “white washing.”

That line of attack forced Coppola to come to her own defense. Guess where?

There are many examples of how slaves have been appropriated and “given a voice” by white artists. Rather than an act of denial, my decision of not including Mattie in the film comes from respect.

It’s the latest variation of, “please don’t hate me … there’s a very logical reason for what I did” from a backpedaling star.

Coppola shouldn’t have to defend herself in the first place. Why bother? SJWs will find new faults with her reasoning. And, heaven forbid she did include a slave character in her narrative that could be problematic, too.

Did the character capture the inhumanity of slavery properly? Couldn’t she have more lines? Was she empowered enough?

You cannot win with SJWs. Or with feminists who spot gender bias around every corner, real or imagined.


  1. Are women allowed to dislike it? I’ve yet to see a Sofia Coppola movie that wasn’t a meandering and pretentious waste of time.

  2. You kind of glossed over the most important part of the story: the hands-in-pocket corruption of the movie industry. Famous director writes articles on Indiewire fan site, in return, fan site not only gives the director a gushing review, but goes so far as to rabidly attack anyone else who dared not to like it. Shouldn’t there be any sort of church/state separation going on at these places?

  3. “You cannot win with SJWs. Or with feminists who spot gender bias around every corner, real or imagined.”

    Oh so true. As a wise computer once said, the only way to win is not to play.

    Make movies, make them as well as you know how and never, ever cater to the grievance posse.

  4. If women are above criticism, they cannot be permitted to engage in any activity that requires critiquing. This would include politics and cinema.

  5. The basic fact about “dog whistle” politics is this; “If you can hear the dog whistle, then you’re the dog.” Anybody who claims that something is a “racist dog whistle” is the racist.

  6. If anyone’s interested, the feminazi’s beef with the third make critic involves him saying the film’s “respectable”, which she wonders if it’s a code term for “unsexy”. Yeah….

  7. The moment I found out they were remaking this movie, I knew it would stir up the SJWs. We just can’t have a story that’s this honest about gender without pissing people off anymore.

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