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Marie Antoinette: A Film by David Grubin (2006)

Philippe Altier , Antoine de Baecque , David Grubin  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Philippe Altier, Antoine de Baecque, Caroline Bernard, Blair Brown, Fanny Cosandey
  • Directors: David Grubin
  • Writers: David Grubin
  • Producers: David Grubin, Fabienne Servan-Schreiber, Laurence Miller, Rachel Buchanan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GH3CQG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,876 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Marie Antoinette: A Film by David Grubin" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

This is the story of a callous monarch, swept to her death in the torrent of the French Revolution. It is also the tale of a fragile young woman struggling to find herself during one of the most turbulent moments in human history. Filmed in France and Austria, with rare access to Versailles, Le Petit Trianon, and the Austro-Hungarian palaces of her youth, Marie Antoinette will tell the intensely human story of the often misunderstood monarch who was beheaded during the turbulence and horror of the French revolution.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anuphab Phraewphanarai - Bangkok, Thailand November 9, 2006
This documentary on Marie Antoinette was superb. When I turned it on, I was glued to the screen. I accept the fact that this documentary does not show many actors completely acting out a scene, but along with the narrators and original paintings of the past, you can picture the whole story in your mind. In other words, the paintings and the pictures of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI told everything of what had happened. It is just like reading a comic book without text. You can just weave the picture together yourself. I did not regret ordering this two hour film on Marie Antoinette, and I suggest that whoever is interested about France's history, should not miss the life story of Marie Antoinette
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116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tribulation first makes you realize who you are" September 26, 2006
By A Customer
Marie Antoinette was born November 2, 1755 in Vienna, Austria. She was the youngest and most beautiful daughter of Francis Stephen I and Maria Theresa Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. Marie Antoinette was brought up believing her destiny was to become queen of France, the hope of forging an alliance with the two countries. She married the crown prince of France in 1770. Four years later she became queen when her husband was crowned King Louis XVI

One of the most interesting facets of this two-hour special on Marie Antoinette was that she never said the famous line "let them eat cake." In fact, the poor Marie was remarkably naive about the needs of the French peasantry and even about her adopted country. Living in a secluded life in the palace of Versailles, she had never seen the sea and spent most of her short life confined within the walls of the palace and gardens.

This fascinating documentary, which aired on PBS last night - in preparation for Sofia Coppola's big-screen dramatization, starring Kirsten Dunst - expels many of the myths associated with this deeply misunderstood Queen. She was indeed only a child - just fifteen - when her mother Maria Theresa married her off to the teenage Prince Louis.

Naive about the role of a Queen, Marie a woman of great charm and beauty, spent much of her time gambling and partying, spending money from the public coffers, oblivious to who paid for it all. The fact that Louis was Unable to produce a heir was a source of great consternation in the court, and as the years went by with still no child, Marie found an outlet by building a private world on the Versailles grounds, Le Petit Trianon, a private retreat where she could get back to nature.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well detailed documentary on Marie Antoinette November 17, 2006
I never really given much thought to Marie Antoinette. All I knew about the former queen of France was that she was beheaded after found guilty of various crimes ranging from corruption to treason. After I saw the lifeless Sophia Coppola film "Marie Antoinette", my curiousity about the former queen was piqued. This PBS documentary was aired not too long ago but I missed seeing most of it. I was fortunate to find a copy to rent through the web based rental service I use.

I found "Marie Antoinette" the documentary far more engaging. The life of Marie Antoinette is indeed fascinating. She almost reminds me of Paris Hilton of her day with her lack of intellectual curiousity and love of frivolous spending and other means of pleasure. It is hard not to see the comparison between the deceased queen of France and the current queen of overexposure.

In the PBS documentary, the filmmaker goes further in depth of Marie Antoinette's life after she and Louis tries to leave Paris, France and eventually their gruesome fate at the hands of the guillotine. I would have liked to have heard more about Marie's life prior to her marriage to Louis (like it was covered in thorough detail in Antoina Fraser's book). Blair Brown does a superb job as narrator. I found this documentary extremely well produced and thought out. There are other documentaries on Marie Antoinette but I only imagine that they would be not as good as PBS's two hour documentary on Marie Antoinette. I had fun learning about Marie Antoinette which led me to check out more books and documentaries about the former queen of France.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The condensed version of Antonia Fraser's biography June 16, 2009
After listening to Antonia Fraser's excellent and exhaustive biography of Marie Antoinette on audiobook (MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY), I immediately hopped onto Netflix in search of a related documentary or two. The only one to catch my eye was David Grubin's MARIE ANTOINETTE: A FILM. Try as I might, I can't help but critique Grubin's film in relation to Fraser's biography.

Grubin's MARIE ANTOINETTE clocks in at about two hours, compared to the 20+ hour narration of Fraser's MARIE ANTOINETTE. While it might seem unfair to compare the two for this reason alone, they do share a similar story arc and cover much the same ground. In fact, Grubin includes snippets of interviews with several French historians in MARIE ANTOINETTE, one of whom is Antonia Fraser herself!

Given the time limitation, Grubin does a decent enough job of detailing the life and death of Marie Antoinette, starting with her childhood in Vienna, Austria, and ending with her death at the hands of "revolutionaries" in Paris, France. Even so, Grubin barely scratches the surface; for example, though he attempts to examine Marie Antoinette's psychological, social and intellectual development, the audience is only beginning to get a feel for Marie Antoinette the person by film's end. Additionally, Grubin raises a few controversial points - such as Marie Antoinette's relationship with Count Ferson - which is unfortunate, because he's unable to examine points of contention on anything but a superficial level. For example, Fraser dealt with historical controversies by returning to contemporary accounts of the events (diaries, letters, etc.), detailing various modern views on the issue, and then concluding with her own reasoned interpretation of the evidence. Grubin simply doesn't have enough time to do the same.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Donna E. Kuberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by Millicent Aynes
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done
A great historical documentary on the life of Marie Antoinette, covering her entire life from beginning to end, with many details on her marriage to Louis XVI and her life and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by shadetree351
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Service, Good movie.
The item arrived promptly and was packaged well. Good movie about Marie Antoinette, a queen out of touch with her subjects. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Vivian Goulet
4.0 out of 5 stars She Didn't Say Anything About Cake, but alot about being Queen
This film has a very rich texture with details of the opulence of French aristocracy: it looks like it was filmed inside the palace of Versailles and certainly within its gardens. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michelle O'Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
Superb Documentary. Informatives haved lied to stain her honor, but she is one of the bravest and noblest women we have ever know. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kevin Guerrero
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little of French History
I live French history so this was very interesting to me. I am French also. I had studied French History through the course with World History. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Peter D. Relyea
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
The movie arrived in good time in good condition. I found this movie very informative, learned a lot about Marie Antoinette that I didn't know. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lisa
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Satisfied
I mistakenly thought I was buying a movie not a documentary. It should be labeled more clearly as such. I would not have purchased it if I had known.
Published 18 months ago by Raul de Leon
5.0 out of 5 stars Marie Antoinette~ the maturing of a Queen
This is a wonderful movie about a young girl who develops into a Queen; the self absorbed teen becomes politically aware & strong willed; the choices she makes creates lasting... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Nikki
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Topic From this Discussion
marie antoinette by david grbin
OK, this is so late, but...

Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette lived during different CENTURIES! Elizabeth I died in 1603 and Marie Antoinette was born in 1755. George III (1760-1820) was the king of United Kingdom when Marie's husband Louis XVI (1774-1791) was the king of France.

My guess... Read More
Dec 31, 2011 by Chipotle Addict |  See all 2 posts
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