Marie Antoninette: A 2006 film to remember
I’ll admit, I’m a Sofia Coppola nerd. I had been anxious to see “Marie Antoinette” for almost a year prior to its release. However, when I first sat down in my seat and the previews traversed, I couldn’t help but think about the negative criticism it had received at the Cannes Film Festival. It made me somewhat nervous to think that Sofia Coppola could possibly lose her edge and stumble on a film that she seemed destined to make. So, I thought “Will all the criticism be justified?”
Absolutely not. Coppola brilliantly portrayed Marie Antoinette as the confused teen thrown into French royalty in order to solidify a bond between two countries.
The casting for “Marie Antoinette,” which was first thought of as brash and almost dangerous, turns out to be a surprisingly engaging group headed up by Kirsten Dunst (Marie), Jason Schwartzman (Louis XVI), Rip Torn (King Louis XV) and many others. Schwartzman does especially well in his portrayal of the shy and tight-lipped prince-turn-king. However engaging the cast may be with dialogue and impeccable body language, it’s the cinematography of Lance Acord and the soundtrack that really give “Marie Antoinette” the vibrance and edge that so many expect from Coppola’s films.
And, if the film doesn’t win Best Costume at the Oscars, we’ll reenact the storming of the Palace of Versailles!
Despite all of this, there will always be drawbacks. Some dialogue is often felt as stretched and somewhat forced, especially from Dunst. She only has this problem, though, when the camera is stoic upon her or the rest of the cast. It seems that when the camera is freelance, most everyone does just fine with the more natural shots. Also, even though the soundtrack is excellent, some songs really push it in the wrong direction. Coming from the biggest Strokes fan on the planet, “What Ever Happened?” should not have been in this film. It almost felt too good for the scene it was used in.
Whether you think you’re “not cool enough” or “too cool” too see this film, throw all of those pre-conceived notions to the wayside. “Marie Antoinette” was created in such an artistically tasteful manner that you’ll have a hard time seeing it once. On a date, by yourself, with friends, whatever… see this movie! It’s one of the most memorable films of 2006, hands down.