Cake, Candy and Kingdom
Marie Antoinette
Review by Ross Anthony

Unfortunately, this is not going to be a positive review. But let’s start with those things the films did well. While not everyone will appreciate the choice of modern music over this period piece -- I did. I quite enjoyed the music. The contrast of a more or less strictly visual 1700’s with a more or less strictly rock modern audio makes for a tasty experience. I welcomed it in A Knight's Tale and I enjoyed it again here. There’s quite a lot of music, more than dialogue. So if you know you don’t like that sort of thing, you might want to miss this film.

Amidst ones that didn't, there were also some moments that played well. Early on, Marie is taken by horse and carriage to France. Someplace in some autumn forest her Austrian party is met by a French one. As apparently was the custom she’s stripped of everything from her Austrian homeland -- her friends, her transport, her dog, even the clothes on her back. And she’s given French clothes, French dogs, French friends. Kirsten communicates the subtleties of such a transition well with just her eyes and facial expressions. In fact, the dialogue in the film is quite minimal. But, this nuance -- moving from one land to the other and being left on character alone to hold tightly to your original identity -- is a sweet one.

And there are a few other nuances here and there, but in between, there’s a whole lot of slow moving film. A slow moving film that just gets slower and ends with a whisper, let alone a head rolling. I left the theatre asking what it was Sofia Coppola was trying to say with the film -- save for to communicate in a slow lavish way how Marie eventually traded in her innocence for indulgence.

Interestingly enough, Marie was 14 when sent to marry Prince Louis who wasn't much older. While Kirsten does her best, she doesn’t look 14, nor does she age in this film at all. I think the lack of visible aging also hinders momentum, creates an odd stagnation.

In the press notes director Sofia Coppola explains, “The idea was to capture in the design the way in which I imagined the essence of Marie Antoinette’s spirit. So the film’s candy colors, its atmosphere and the teenaged music all reflect and are meant to evoke how I saw that world from Marie’s perspective. She was in a total silk and cake world.”

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  • Marie Antoinette. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Judy Davis, Asia Argento, Marianne Faithfull, Danny Huston, Molly Shannon.
  • Directed by Sofia Coppola.
  • Screenplay by Sofia Coppola. Based on a book by Antonia Fraser.
  • Produced by Ross Katz at Columbia/American Zoetrope/Pricel/Tohokushinsha.

Grade..........................C+ (1/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Sunday, 22-Oct-2006 15:31:07 PDT