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Marie Antoinette Movie Review

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

By

Marie Antoinette Movie Review

Kirsten Dunst in "Marie Antoinette."

© Columbia Pictures

The Bottom Line

I know nothing more about Marie Antoinette than I did going into Sofia Coppola's lush $40 million production. Granted, it's not the film's job to educate me on the intricacies of the life of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, but it would have made the movie so much easier to endure if Coppola presented any reason at all to care about the film's central characters. Just one reason, that's all it would have taken to make Marie Antoinette something more than good-looking, insignificant fluff.

Pros

  • The costumes are stunning
  • Shot in Versailles, the location is like a character unto itself - and it steals the film

Cons

  • Pretty but pointless
  • Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman have little to do but look good
  • The songs and dialogue don't mesh with the authentic costumes and sets
  • The story flits about as if Sofia Coppola couldn't decide where to focus

Description

  • Based on the book by Antonia Fraser
  • Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, and Steve Coogan
  • Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo
  • Theatrical Release Date: October 20, 2006

Guide Review - Marie Antoinette Movie Review

The film follows Marie Antoinette's introduction to her husband, barely touching on the need for the marriage as a way of uniting countries. United in holy wedlock just days after they're introduced, it will take years - and lots of patience and persistence on the part of Marie Antoinette - for the marriage to finally be consummated. But not to worry. What Marie's not getting from Louis she gets with a studly young soldier and from prancing about in outrageous costumes, downing champagne and giving little thought to the fact her people are calling for her head.

Watching Kirsten Dunst munch on pretty pastries for two hours is not my idea of a good time. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette snacks her way through life, taking only the occasional break to play dress up or actually carry on a conversation with another human being. It's not until the final act that Coppola allows Marie Antoinette to display anything greater than a marginal interest in life outside her protected circle. By that point, any possibility of the audience feeling anything toward the Queen of France, other than disdain, has long since passed. It's impossible to feel one iota of pain for a woman portrayed so one-dimensionally.

Backed by tunes from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bow Wow Wow, and The Cure, Coppola's lavish exploration of the marriage of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI has little of substance to offer audiences other than marvelous sets full of beautiful but boring people.

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