This is a loosely based retelling of France’s iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles during the French Revolution.

I missed out on seeing Sofia Coppola´s “Marie Antoinette” when it came out in 2006, but I do remember it was booed at during early screenings at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Then I recently saw the trailer for the movie which sparked an interest to see it. Coppola has tried to humanise Marie Antoinette and she apparently refused to read the famous biography of Marie-Antoinette written by Stefan Zweig, which she judged too strict. So she turned instead to the book by Antonia Fraser, which makes the queen a more human character, a young girl with no connection to reality who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. To make her more modern and “alive” almost set in the present day. I see a strong influence of particularly Stanley Kubrick, with all the lavish locations, strong colours, the attention to details and the somewhat “sterile” acting. I like the idea of having a soundtrack with New Wave and post-punk bands like New Order, Gang of Four, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, The Strokes, Dustin O’Halloran and The Radio Dept. In several 2006 interviews, Coppola suggests that her highly stylized interpretation was intentionally very modern in order to humanise the historical figures involved. She admitted taking great artistic liberties with the source material, and said that the film does not focus simply on historical facts – “It is not a lesson of history. It is an interpretation documented, but carried by my desire for covering the subject differently.” The main problem with “Marie Antoinette” is that it´s as boring as Marie Antoinette´s life depicted on the screen. I´m not sure if this is what Sofia Coppola was aiming at, but this historic costume drama fails due to the fact that everything is so toned down and frankly boring you just want it to end when you realise after more than half of the movie nothing will happen that will get some sort of emotional rise within. I have no problem how Coppola has handled the subject and the liberties she has taken, making Marie Antoinette a misunderstood and angst-ridden teenager, but that means as well I want to feel that, which she fails with. “Marie Antoinette” is just a colourful pastry with nothing but fluff inside to my mind. (2 and a half out of 5)

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