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235 of 278 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Them Eat Ganache, October 22, 2006
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This review is from: Marie Antoinette (Theatrical Release)
Booed at its Cannes premiere this year (as Anthony Lane in the "New Yorker" states: "Who was in the audience, Robespierre?"), "Marie Antoinette" is that rare bird: a film that is beautiful on the outside (everything about the physical movie is eye-poppingly gorgeous: Costumes, Food, Pastries, Shoes {yes shoes...in fact I can't remember a film in recent memory of which almost every reviewer credits the shoes to the designer: in this case, Manolo Blahnik}) as it is on the inside: studiously, exhaustively researched, thoughtfully written and impeccably directed by Sofia Coppola who gives us a revisionist portrait of M. Antoinette that is humane, heartfelt and above all measured and compassionate. There is no doubt who is in charge of this huge production and Coppola's obvious tender touch is evident everywhere throughout this film.
This "Marie Antoinette" is told from a Marie as a girl perspective: she is very young, she is giddy, very much impatient of the French Court and it's customs, very much into clothes and shoes yet she matures, has children, takes a lover grows wise, becomes the subject of gossip, learns to love Louis and becomes a loving and doting mother. This is a fully fleshed out role of a victim, really: a victim of politics, of circumstances beyond her control.
At the center of this film is the tragic, sad and revelatory Marie of Kirsten Dunst. Dunst's Marie is the outsider, reviled by the French court (called "L'Autrichienne" by most...the Austrian *itch), lost and 14 when she first arrives in France, literally stripped of everything Austrian, Dunst navigates this difficult role with ease. But this is not a surface performance...not at all. Dunst digs deep and reveals all the nuances, all the insecurities, all the strengths of one of the most hated women in all of history. Dunst plays Marie from her gut and she leaves her blood as well as her tears on the celluloid. Do not be swayed or fooled by the naysayers: this is a towering performance of the first order.
Coppola is getting a lot of bad press or her use of 80's music on the soundtrack (Bow Wow Wow, Gang of 4, The Cure) but she has so far in her two previous films ("The Virgin Suicides" and "Lost in Translation") proven to be nothing if not a populist, a product of her environment, a lover of popular culture. In "M.A." the music serves the story effectively by blasting away and preventing any cobwebs from growing on what could have been a stodgy Historical drama.
Though Coppola will not be beheaded for making this wonderful film, it is apparent that most people just don't get "it." With all that said the fact remains: "Marie Antoinette" contains one of the most beautiful images ever committed to film: Marie in a carriage, having been forced out of Versailles, deep sadness in her face, clutching her children and holding Louis's hand, the camera pointed out at the grounds of Versailles, she poignantly says "Goodbye" to the only place she can claim as home...as the carriage takes her family to Oblivion.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 2, 2007 10:38:03 PM PST
Raiden777 says:
Last night, for the first time, i saw the Best Picture winner of 1984's Academy Awards...AMADEUS.
So far, this is the only movie i could get my hands on that was in that time period with a similar "fun" take on , um, that time period. I sought AMADEUS out becouse of Roger Ebert's favorable review of this Marie Antoinette film, he mentioned that this movie's modern style reminded him of the purple wigs in AMADEUS... its a little complicated, but im glad i bought the film, becouse it was real inspiring to me.

This movie here, "Marie Antionette" probubly isnt as well done as AMADEUS, it probubly wont win any Oscars. But i was taken by the OFF-Screen chemostry that the Jason actor and Kirstin Dunst had while doing a little feature where they answered questions from fans about the film. At times it seemed like these two might actually be fond of one another. I wouldnt be surprised.

When i saw who would be playing the French King or whatever , i was kinda disappointed....i was like "Who is this loss????" ....but after seeing him engaged with Kirsten in the interviews, i saw that theres more than meets the eye, the guy seems to be a decent nice serious actor. I liked his personality.

Anyways... im looking forward to the release of the DVD on the 13th of this Febuary, which lands on a tuesday, of course. I didnt rush to see this when it was in theaters becouse i was VERY put off by the soundtrack that accompanied the trailor, and the quirky, goofy nature of the of it. I was really disappointed...just when i thought Dunst was getting back to fine films ( Interview With The Vampire, Little Women) i see her apparently involved in a hatchet job of great historic story of the famous queen that got her head...well...hacked off...i suppose with a hatchet, judging on this trailor lol.

BUT.... time went by and for the most part, i trust Roger Eberts judgment when he gives a film a thumbs up, it is atleast allways a solid or fun film, when he gives a movie the green light to be seen.

Despite that, i listened to the movies advocates, like yourself, and am deciding to give it a chance....i did after all, like "Lost In Translation" (besides the unneccasary R rating for all the TOTALLY uneccassary nudity...what a waste those scenes were...Sofia still has some maturing to do)

But anyways... i have an open mind that doesnt refuse to consider something, even if i think at first it might be a disaster... and sometimes, the apparent dissaster can turn out to be not so horriable, and so i trust, with this film, ill be taken to liking it. Becouse i understand what she was trying to do with the film... and it explains her choices for certain "unorthodox" music and things...

Finally, id like to say that when i found out that AMADEUS had comedic elements, i thought i might end up hating it...especially when i learned that Mozart was a clown and a pervert to say the least. But it ended up not being bad...it was a well done inspiring film. I liked it ,and i know ill watch it again while i await the Marie Antoinette dvd. Febuary 13th still seems too far away.

Well, im excited about it becouse i love the fashion, the elegence, the music, of that time, becouse men , not just women, were elegent and gracefull.

If you havent seen AMADEUS....Definatly see it, youll see why it was Best Picture back in 84!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2007 1:59:14 PM PST
Roger Ebert also wrote that other reviewers just didn't get it, but he said it in other words. You get a bullseye.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2007 2:54:36 PM PST
thanks jp. marie antoinette if full of life and wonder and it will survive all the bs said about it...mark my word.
peace,
m.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2007 8:27:10 PM PDT
Even though I disagree with the naysayers, I still love some commentary. One reviewer wrote that 'Marie Antoinette' was a "pornographic look at fashion and desserts"!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2007 9:27:41 AM PDT
ha! i like that.
m.

Posted on Jul 15, 2007 8:56:59 AM PDT
Excellent review!

Chrissy

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 6:57:55 AM PDT
Mary & Bobby says:
I think your review is helpful. Wise of you to add that movie fans will not see be-headings in this film but all of the good stuff royalty were famous for, without dwelling on their tragic fame & early demise.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2009 6:36:16 AM PDT
Momentum says:
Why did you tell the ending? I haven't seen it yet. Thats out of order.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 9:32:42 PM PDT
Melissa says:
Hey, I also love this movie. But I was wondering about something..... Do you you use Blu-Ray? Because Sony was supposed to release this on Blu-Ray in February 2007, but then pulled it, and released dumb movies in place of it. :/ So, I called Sony and they sent my requests in, but if we get more people to call, then maybe we could get it in 2011. I have the phone numbers if interested, just reply back. Thanks....

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2010 9:32:54 PM PDT
Melissa says:
Hey, I also love this movie. But I was wondering about something..... Do you you use Blu-Ray? Because Sony was supposed to release this on Blu-Ray in February 2007, but then pulled it, and released dumb movies in place of it. :/ So, I called Sony and they sent my requests in, but if we get more people to call, then maybe we could get it in 2011. I have the phone numbers if interested, just reply back. Thanks....
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