Thursday, May 27

Review: Marie Antoinette

Before I begin this review, I want to announce that I'm suddenly getting an assload of readers! This is probably mostly due to the shout-out my little sister (well, kind of) made for me on her blog. It's in dutch, and it's very cutesey and green. You should check it out. Here's looking at you, kid.

Okay, on to the review.

Sofia Coppola only made three feature films. She is the daughter of what I think is one of the most over-rated filmmakers ever. And she is a female director in a completely male-dominated industry. It's pretty much a miracle I like her so much. Her style is refreshing and sweet, her dialogues witty and charming and her use of music bordering on genius. And in Marie Antoinette, she pulls all of this off again.

Marie Antoinette tells the story of the French queen from the moment she leaves Austria for France up until the moment she fleas Versailles. If you were hoping for some gory beheadings, bad luck. Instead, we get to see MA's daily routine in and around Versailles. The extensive (and at times downright ridiculous) rituals for everything, the endless gossip, the attempts to reproduce with a guy who has the libido of a wet tissue... Everything. But where most costume dramas have a swooning, boring girl as the protagonist, the Marie Antoinette in this film resembles a modern it-girl.

Mrs. Copolla has been criticized for the historical inaccuracies in the film. For instance, when MA is  trying on shoes, you can clearly see a pair of blue All-Stars in the background. But that was exactly her point: Marie Antoinette was just a teenager. Not exactly one in normal circumstances, but a teenager nevertheless. Having parties, shopping, talking with her friends for hours on end, having boyfriends... Everything. She has more similarities with Paris Hilton then with Jane Eyre.

She even has her own sextape now.

The movie trades in the bleak English countryside for the splendor of Versailles and the strong colors of pastry and dresses. The crew was even given permission to film at Versailles, which is very rare. This style gives the movie a completely unique feel, which is helped by the equally unusual soundtrack. Copolla ditches the harpsichords and string orchestra's for hip indiepop and post-punk. It works so well that you hardly even notice it after a while. The soundtrack now proudly resided on my iPod, and probably will stay there.

But despite all the goodness Marie Antoinette has to offer, I was a little disappointed by it. It was good, definitely, but it didn't connect to me emotionally in the way The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation did. As it is, it's a wonderfully stylish flick that kicks convention in the balls and delivers something very unique in the progress. And that is more then enough.


The music is in style: really, really hip.

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