Sofia Coppola directs.
This film follows Marie-Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) from her introduction to the French court to her escape from the palace of Versailles.
There were affecting moments in the film. The most moving was the beginning when the 14 year old girl is stripped of anything relating to Austria, her former home and country. It’s hard not have sympathy for the teen crying for her dog which has been taken from her.
However, the movie loses ground as it progresses. The only real purpose that the new princess of France has is to reproduce and this takes up an endless amount of the movie. The problem appears to be that her husband, Louis (Jason Schwartzman) the Dauphin of France, is not sure how to go about it. (???). I tried to look up some reason behind the unconsummated marriage but could not find a conclusive answer. One account speculated that the prince had an emotional barrier (sleeping with the Austrian enemy) and another account had it that surgery solved the problem. It doesn’t particularly matter but, without this issue, the movie leaves us a lot of shopping and eating sweets. Even events such as deaths in the family are revealed off-handedly.
But Dunst looks a like a princess should – lovely and charming with a winsome smile. Her costumes and shoes and sweets are delightful and were specially designed according to the trivia page on IMDB.com. The Palace of Versailles was beautiful of course, and it made me think that this movie would be perfect as a background movie. You know, muting it and playing classical music.
For it is very, very pretty.
Very positive review by James Rich.
Very negative review by James Berardinelli.
Review by Roger Ebert.
Here’s a reviewer with the same reaction that I had: a great background film.