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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Movie Review: Marie Antoinette (2006)

Marie Antoinette
Columbia Pictures Corporation
123 mins.
October 20, 2006
Rated: PG-13

This was my second time watching this film and the experience was much different this time than the first. The first time I watched it I was viewing it for a women’s art class focusing on the direction choices of Sofia Coppola. I remember being very unhappy with the film and if I wasn’t picking it up again to watch as a part of my Caught on Tape series for Marie Antoinette it would have been a one-time only viewing. However, I am kind of glad that I watched it a second time, I have a new appreciation for it, even if I still don’t love it.

There were some elements that I liked. I was happy to see that they actually included the crossing of the border scene from Austria to France. It was an important scene, but I thought that it was a little underwhelming. I did love the scenes (especially the first one) where Marie is being dressed by her ladies – it showed just how ridiculous some of the French customs were. There were also some great artistic elements that were included in this film such as the presentation of the baby being painted out to allude to its loss, the Madame Deficit series of paintings, and the last shot of the damaged palace. I thought these were well utilized to represent some greater elements that were more or less left out of the film.

And that brings me into what I mostly dislike about the film. I felt that this film left out a lot of references to the greater goings on in France at that time. There is very little indication of the revolts and unrest for the populace of France. This was possibly to show the insulated nature of the court of Versailles, but it lost something for the audience – the impact of the ending, it just felt out of place. I also was not a huge fan of the modern music selections chosen for this film.

With regard to the representations of the characters, I thought that this was an okay representation of Marie Antoinette. She was a little bored, a little frivolous, and a little bit of a woman who stood her ground; however, I didn’t feel that Kristin Dunst was up to the challenge of this complex woman. I was satisfied with Jason Schwartzman’s portrayal of King Louis XVI – this was my favorite representation across the 3 films I have seen. He was equal mix of a little bit awkward, but still a somewhat commanding presence.

Overall, the film was a little boring, but it wasn’t nearly as painful as the first time I watched it.

Check out this trailer:


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