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Marie Antoinette (Widescreen)
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While much was made of the fact that Marie Antoinette elicited boos at Cannes, the many favorable reviews attracted less attention. Inspired by Antonia Fraser's biography, Sofia Coppola fashions a portrait that's just as dreamy as The Virgin Suicides, her first literary adaptation, and the Oscar-winning Lost in Translation. Set to a soundtrack of post-punk (a conceit that adds more interest than resonance), the teenaged Marie (Kirsten Dunst, quite good) may be shallow, but she's rarely unsympathetic. The story begins in the late-18th century as the Austrian Archduchess agrees to marry Louis-Auguste (Jason Schwartzman). After bidding adieu to her mother, Maria Theresa (Marianne Faithfull), she travels to France, where King Louis XV (Rip Torn) sets the rules--and the list is endless (Judy Davis' Comtesse de Noailles is the primary enforcer). As for the Dauphin, he's just a boy, really, with more interest in his key collection than their marriage bed. Should Marie produce an heir, it might be enough to sustain her--since life is nothing but an endless shopping spree--but clouds gather on the horizon as an impoverished populace rises up against their extravagant leaders. Coppola merely suggests what happens next, although history paints a darker picture. Filmed in and around the Chateau of Versailles, Marie Antoinette is a riot of rustling gowns, sparkling jewels, and Manolo Blahnik-designed shoes. To say that style trumps substance does its maker a disservice, but the look of the thing does leave the deepest impression. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Extras from Marie Antoinette (click for larger image)
Featurette: On the filming of Marie Antoinette:
Film Clip: "The Introduction"
Film Clip: "The Royal Treatment"
Beyond Marie Antoinette at Amazon.com
The Book, Marie Antoinette: The Journey
More Period Pieces With A Twist
The Films of Kirsten Dunst
- "The Making of Marie Antoinette" featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Cribs with Louis XVI
Top Customer Reviews
In this film, Marie Antoinette is seen as a sheltered, somewhat frivolous young girl unprepared for the role history was about to thrust upon her. The movie begins at the moment when the Archduchess of Austria, aged 14, has been promised in wedlock to France's Prince Louis XVI as part of a treaty between the two countries. She is quickly whisked away to her new nation and new role, becoming a virtual prisoner to the proscribed rites and regulations of court life at Versailles in the late 18th Century.
In a wise move artistically (if not commercially), Coppola has seen fit to bleed the film of most of its potential hyperbole and melodrama, choosing instead to concentrate on the gossipy pettiness and mind-numbing rituals of royal life at that time. We see Marie completely stripped of any sense of personal privacy, as she endures the indignities of a virtual cast of thousands having a hand in her dressing herself in the morning and being constantly under the watchful eye of moral advisers on the lookout for any breach of etiquette or protocol deemed unbecoming of a queen.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Obviously, the best thing about this movie is the way it looks on screen. Watching "Marie Antoinette" is like stepping into a high-end bakery and admiring a bunch of scrumptious, frilly wedding cakes. Everything about the film is absolutely beautiful: the costumes, the shoes, the palaces, the desserts. However, the dialogue in the first half of the movie is very choppy and sparse, so the only thing for the audience to do is admire all the visual beauty. After a while the script does manage to turn itself around, and I think the second half of the movie is much better in terms of storyline and character development. "Marie Antoinette" has a fabulous soundtrack that consists of mostly punk music, which is a lot of fun. Also, the cast is excellent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All I can say is the first time I watched this I thought it was terrible, but I kept thinking back to it and remembering inspiring images. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Kara
slow moving disjointed story line without a clear explanation of her difficulties as a young Queen married to a too young Dauphine and no one to advocate for her in a foreign... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
I had just visited Versailles, so this had a little more relevance for me. I liked the historical accuracy with the modern edginess (the sound track for example), but it was a bit... Read morePublished 1 month ago by HooterNW
gives insight into how much of her life was not her's to controlPublished 2 months ago by Stephen C. Rivera
Such a great movie! A fun, important history lesson that is a feast for the eyes.Published 2 months ago by barbaram
Sensitive, nuanced and very broadly historically accurate, this is an extraordinary film. It hurts your head (still attached we hope!) in the best way. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer