Monday, March 12, 2007

"Marie Antoinette" (2006)

What a magnificent movie! Talk about eye candy. The fact that the movie was filmed at Versailles alone makes it worth viewing. The rooms, the grounds...breathtaking! But add ridiculously beautiful costumes, gravity defying hairstyles, a very well-chosen soundtrack, and Sofia Copola as director...this movie is made even more remarkable.

I know a lot of critics have touched upon Coppola's choice of Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette. And despite my own reservations regarding Dunst's ability to play such a role, I was really impressed. It wasn't entirely what Dunst did with the character (although, notably, Dunst was quite lovely) as it was Coppola's ability to utilize Dunst effectively in this role.

I love how Coppola's films don't rely on heavy dialogue. "Lost in Translation" is easily one of my favorite movies for that reason. The nuances of character are not forced upon the viewer through dialogue. Rather, scene, music, motion, and lengthy shots of a character's expression...all give more powerful glimpses into the emotions and inclinations of the characters. Coppola does the same here in "Marie Antoinette." I love the carriage rides, hunting excursions in the country, awkward mealtimes, and Marie Antoinette's indoor and outdoor strolls/loungings. Coppola's creative style is refreshing without being bizarre. Amazing cinematography.

Interestingly, the movie was booed (especially by the French) when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. However, it also received a standing ovation...illustrating just how divided critics are on this film. It definitely is not traditional in style but that fact lends heavily to its appeal.

After watching this movie two days in a row, I had some very grand daydreams. When, where, and how could I justify getting dressed up like that?! Could I even get my hair done that high?!

After watching the movie, I am also kicking myself once again for not having visited Versailles while I was in Paris. I really wanted to spend a full day there but just got so consumed in the city that I didn't make it. So, it is at the top of my list for my next visit, which I eagerly anticipate.

*photos nabbed from:


Louis la Vache said...

Louis la Vache suggests that before you visit Versailles, take the RER "D" line from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Melun visit the château that became the model for Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte

Vaux-le-Vicomte has a scandalous history - its original owner, Nicolas Fouquet, was framed by Louis XIV's minister, Colbert.

The gardens first at Vaux-le-Vicomte then at Versailles were designed by Andre le Nôtre, whose birthday, coincidentally, is today!

Richard said...

I thought it might be an interesting film, but I was put off by promotional poster. Somehow, Marie Antoinette seemed far too decadent. Maybe that was the point.

b said...

Louis...thank you so much for the tip. I will definitely check out those links to your blog soon, as I'd love to learn more about Vaux-le-Vicomte, etc. You realize this only incites my desire to return to Paris very soon, don't you?! :)

Richard...yeah, the promotional poster seems to have put off quite a few people I talked to. The movie is very over-the-top with decadence but it is beautiful if you can stomach such. Amidst all the gaudiness however, are some lovely scenes of the grounds/gardens of Versailles and the countryside. With that said, it could very well be classified as a "chick flick" however. :)

Apparently, Marie Antoinette was quite decadent for several years in her youth as queen. However, she drastically changed her ways, particularly after having children. This fact has often been misrepresented or overlooked in the history of her life. But the later years of her life seem to be highlighted more accurately as of late, indicating that she was rather courageous and not at all obsessed with material objects. The movie however, looks at her life only at Versailles, so yes, it certainly reinforces those years of her life in ridiculous excess.

Cavalock said...

saw this n thought its right up yr alley.

b said...

Cavalock...thanks for the link. I viewed the trailer and it is definitely something I'll see. Thanks!

Ancilla said...

ah i missed it!
it was on the movie festival but i missed it....

Tumuli said...

Excellent review. Now I will definitely go out and watch it after delaying for so long.

b said...

Ancilla...yes, it is a good movie. You'll have to try and find it on DVD. I cannot reiterate enough just what wonderful eye candy it is! :)

Tumuli...thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad you like the review. I only hope that you are not disappointed by the movie!