Marie Antoinette (2006) Sofia Coppola
History was never my favorite subject. I think it’s because I don’t really have a terribly active imagination, and so my lessons always felt more like lists of dates and facts than a real feeling for a time period or event. So, I loved Marie Antoinette - it is a beautiful portrayal of some universal-ish emotions and experiences across time. The use of music, exaggerations, and anachronisms served to make me understand what that time and place might have felt like. This is the story of a (wayyyy) privileged teenager, experiencing cliques, gossip, heartache, indulgence, and a complete lack of responsibility. I think Coppola portrayed this perfectly.
I never thought of it as modern as much as just timeless. Like, the things I was trying to play I don’t think are modern feelings. I don’t think that shyness or self-doubt or any lack of self confidence or inability to connect or anything is a modern man’s dilemma. I feel like that’s what happens to people. When I look at the movie and see all the whispering and gossiping, it reminds me of high school and a lot of my high school years and my adolescence and how hurt I was by gossip and rumors from girls and boys around me in high school. So I think that we were just trying to do a human thing and make the characters relatable.
When I was little, I saw Amadeus. I remember what a breakthrough for me that movie was just because I remember going, ‘Wow! Mozart smiles? Mozart laughs? He found things funny? He was sad?’ For the first time, a historical figure was like me in some way. Hopefully, the intent of the film was to show the similarity between all people during all time and that’s why there is the music. And to me, it’s not a period piece or a bio movie. To me, it’s an emotional movie. It’s to show the connections of emotions in humans.
Both Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman were great. I really felt like I understood these two children, married off, and expected to procreate to sustain an alliance between nations. Dunst is able to portray the happy, innocent 14 year-old, the teenager shamed for not getting pregnant, the young adult wanting to capture something that was lost or never there.
Every set and costume is completely sumptuous, aided by actually filming much of the movie in Versailles. Every frame drips with beauty and sweetness. Absolutely stunning to watch.