Intertwining baroque and punk rock sensibilities, Sofia Coppola presented the disgraced and vilified queen of la belle France (Kirsten Dunst) as an airheaded high school kid with a limitless amount of disposable funds and power, but doesn’t know a damn thing that’s going on in her own country. Undoubtedly visually beautiful, thanks in part to the French government permitting filming in the storied Palais du Versailles, all the eye candy in the world doesn’t save this movie. I had to remind a very good friend of mine about M.A.’s history when she accompanied me to this film viewing. After my quick synopsis of the French Revolution, she kept asking me when Marie was heading over to the guillotine.
SPOILER ALERT: In this film, they never depicted it, nor even put up any closers in the coda describing the aftermath; the assumption being that the moviegoer should have basic knowledge of European history.
While I cannot deny the sumptuousness of the sets and costumes, mixing Converse sneakers and Bow Wow Wow with oppressively tight, bosom-heaving corsets and towering powdered wigs doesn’t fit my image of a biopic whose subject has been universally blamed for the downfall of a monarchy. If you want to learn just how much of it was put on Marie-Antoinette and how it was dealt with, take my advice and watch this PBS documentary instead.