Kirsten Dunst is the much adored and hated queen of France with a punk-rock style and New Wave soundtrack.
I really don’t know much about Marie Antoinette beyond the cake quote and she was beheaded. I have no idea how much of this movie was true, but I just watched it for what it was, which was a girl that was married off and made queen way too young. The movie does make mention of the cake quote in quite a clever way.
Marie was a rich girl in Austria when she was married off to the prince of France. She had to leave everything behind when she went to France. She couldn’t even take her little purse dog with her. She had a whole new set of fancy clothes and had to get all new friends. She knew it was important for Austria and France that she was a good wife and future queen so she did the best she could, even though she was only fifteen.
There were issues with her new husband not touching her in bed, no matter how hard she tried to get him interested and excited. Everyone blamed her for not being pregnant and giving him an heir to the throne. It wouldn’t have been proper for her to say what was really going on, so she had to deal with all the gossip about being frigid and it pretty much being her fault for not bearing a child.
There were also issues with money. There were a few mentions about gambling being a bit of a problem for her. Tons of scenes were shown of Marie spending tons of money on clothes, sweets and parties while the French people were starving. France kept sending their money and troops to help the Americans fight the Revolution since they hated the British instead of helping their own people. This did not make the King and Queen very liked by their people.
Those were the major plot points of the movie, but while watching it, it didn’t seem like a lot happened. Sophia Coppola directed the movie very much like she directed Lost in Translation. There were many instances of just watching what people were doing while listening to awesome music. You had to figure out what the characters were thinking instead of them verbalizing what they were thinking. You had to get lost in it. If this movie is watched while doing something else, then some of the movie magic will be lost. It needs to be watched without distractions to take it all in.
Something else I liked about the direction, besides the long scenes of no dialogue was the feeling that we were peeking in on their life. It didn’t seem staged. At times, characters were talking while the camera panned through or stayed at a distance. The audience came into the middle of gossipy conversations, stayed for a bit and moved on. It all added to the general feel of the movie.
I mentioned before the awesome music and it did fit in very well. It was just used as a soundtrack, not as the actual music of the day, but it was perfect. When the new wave music was used, it added to the scenes.
The only thing I didn’t really like about the movie was how it just ended. It seemed like it was leading up to the beheading or even something else, but then just stopped. It didn’t seem like a natural way to end of the movie.