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Inspired by the thorough (and thoroughly engrossing) biography by Antonia Fraser, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette takes a luscious look at the misunderstood Queen of France.
“With lyrical intelligence and scrappy wit, Coppola creates a luscious world to get lost in. It’s a pleasure.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Set to a rocking soundtrack of 1980s post-punk, and stylishly designed amid a riot of rustling gowns, sparkling jewels and Manolo Blahnik-designed shoes, Coppola’s unique, anachronistically modern take on the familiar story envisions her young heroine, Marie (Kirsten Dunst), as a shallow but sympathetic teenager swept up by the turbulent events of late 18th century France. Sent off to Versailles at the age of 14 to marry Louis-Auguste (Jason Schwartzman), the Austrian- born princess becomes lost in the rigid etiquette, family infighting and merciless gossip of the French royal court. Forced to live her life in the unforgiving glare of the public spotlight, Marie finds escape in the sensual pleasures of youth, and life becomes an endless shopping spree. But her frivolity makes her the object of scandal and a convenient scapegoat for a society teetering on the brink of revolution. Coppola’s extravagant, candy-colored historical drama, driven by a pitch-perfect performance from Kirsten Dunst as the doomed Marie, offers a compelling critique of contemporary celebrity culture and society’s complicated ambivalence toward young women. (Dir. by Sofia Coppola, 2006, USA/France/Japan, in English/Latin/French with English subtitles, 123 mins., Rated PG-13)