Dakota and Elle Fanning Star in Contrasting Period Movies

Dakota and Elle Fanning Star in Contrasting Period Movies
PHOTOGRAPH: Dakota Fanning | Photo shows a retro shot of the Fanning girls.

Celebrity sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning will be seen in new movies this year. Both are period pieces.

Dakota plays a young, violently abused midwife in Brimstone, set in a 19th-century west town. On the other hand, The Beguiled — set during the Civil War — reunites Elle with her Somewhere (2010) director Sofia Coppola.

Brimstone premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, and opens in selected theaters this March. The English debut effort of Dutch director Martin Koolhoven met with some controversy for its unconventional structure and extreme violence.

Dakota, who had played a rape victim in Hounddog (2007), tackles the role of Liz, who has had her tongue cut out for an unknown reason. Guy Pierce plays the preacher who pursues and accuses her of a crime she did not commit.

Stellar Cast

The Beguiled is based on Thomas Cullinan’s novel about an injured Yankee soldier who misleads females at an all-girl boarding school. The film, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Clint Eastwood, hits theaters on June 30, 2017.

Fanning Sisters Grace Mag Cover

For the first time, the two sisters will appear on the cover of Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue. Dakota, 22, and Elle Fanning, 18, share this year’s cover with the likes of Emma Stone, Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman.

Since they were very young, Dakota and Elle have been charming moviegoers. At just six years of age, Dakota portrayed the adorable Lucy Diamond Dawson, Sean Penn’s daughter in the 2000 film, I Am Sam. It was a role that a young Shailene Woodley (Divergent) wanted badly and auditioned for, but did not get.

Career Breaks

Five years later, everyone remembered the older Fanning sister – again as another daughter (of Tom Cruise’s character) – in War of the Worlds (2005). That film’s director, Steven Spielberg, reportedly thought her pensive, headlamp eyes made her seem like “an old soul.”

Elle, for her part, starred with Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She exhibited all of her older sister’s appeal in a scene under the table where, with a smile, she tells the title character, “You’re odd.”

The Fanning sisters have shown no inclination towards the extravagant and self-destructive habits that have plagued Hollywood’s other child stars. On the contrary, the I Am Sam actress, like an ordinary crew member, had stayed at a Comfort Inn and eaten at Taco Bell during the filming of Night Moves (2014).

In citing the individual impact of the sisters on cinema, Vanity Fair noted the younger Fanning sister’s roles in such movies as Maleficent (2014), Neon Demon (2016) and 20th Century Women (2016). Not to be outdone, her sister did convincing portrayals in The Runaways (2010), Effie Gray (2014) and American Pastoral (2016).


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