Marie Antoinette (12a)
Dir. Sofia Coppola
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
It’s Friday night and I have a late licence from the Mrs. I think a boys night trip to the flicks is in order – so what will it be? Maybe some heroic life saving antics from The Guardian or a shocker horror in the form of The Grudge 2? No, there’s really only one choice for a bunch of blokes looking for a good night out this week… Yes err, Marie Antoinette of course!?
And it turned out to be a top night in the company of the infamous cake munching young queen (that’s Marie by the way not my mate Steve in case you were wondering)… Sofia ‘Lost In Translation’ Coppola bases her opulent ‘glam over substance’ historical film on Antonia Fraser's book about the ill-fated Archduchess of Austria / Queen of France. Kirsten Dunst holds court impressively and completely captivated me as Marie Antoinette. She really looks the regal part portraying possibly the most misunderstood woman in history. Married off for political reasons when only 14 she was catapulted to a life of wild excess in France where she shops, parties and idles her days until her world is swept away by the French revolution.
Dunst is quite something to behold decked out in a wanton wardrobe that will send shoe fetishists into rapture and looks like pages torn from an 18th century Vogue magazine.
Her husband Louis XVI of France (a brilliantly understated role by Jason ‘I Heart Huckabees’ Schwartzman) is less taken with her and the scenes of his inept bedroom antics will make you both giggle and cringe. The rest of the cast go about the shallow tale with gusto including Steve Coogan who always looks like he’s about to crack a wicked joke. There is a superb heavily ‘80s influenced soundtrack too that includes Aphex Twin, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the best cinematic use of a Cure song (Plainsong) ever.
If you’re looking for an in-depth study of the live and times of Marie Antoinette, this slight flick will not be sufficient for you as it is only surface tension deep. But if you want to be whisked away for a couple of hours into a dreamlike fashion parade where all that seems to matter are the vicious whispers of the courtiers and the constant succession of choux buns and balls, look no further because as the ill fated monarch says at one point: “Letting everyone down would be my greatest unhappiness.”
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öö - does shopping count?
Laughs öö – tres amusant! in parts
Horror ö – nothing very grim (not even a beheading)
Babes öööö – Dunst is very hot here and it's not a new thing... see below...
Overall öööö (likely to split audiences - but I really liked it!)
Darkmatters: H O M E