Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Sofia Coppola: 'Marie Antoinette' (2006)

Kirsten Dunst is so good as Peggy Blumquist in the latest season of FX's Fargo that I finally got around to seeing her play the lead role in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006).  

What to make of the movie overall? Visually, it's a knockout. Coppola plunges us into the fashions and elaborate protocols of the Ancien Régime of France. But we know the end is nigh. We don't actually see any guillotines, but we know they're somewhere over the rainbow.
Besides the dazzle and pop of its visuals, Marie Antoinette departs from the more common earnest approach to costume drama in its choice of music. There is period music, but Coppola links the life and times of Marie Antoinette to the 1980s with songs by such dark luminaries as Gang of Four, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, The Cure, Bow Wow Wow and Adam & the Ants. This keeps things lively, certainly, with a modern sense of urgency behind the supremely foolish and decadent One Percenter lifestyle depicted throughout Marie Antoinette

Sofia Coppola also seems to be suggesting of Marie and her attendant choices, "Don't hate the playa, hate the game." 
Love the choice of casting in Marie Antoinette. The most endearing to me are Rip Torn as Louis XV and Asia Argento as Madame du Barry; they have a genuine affection for each other, yet Madame du Barry is looked down upon as something less than legitimate.

Lots of great players: Steve Coogan as Florimond Claude, Comte de Mercy-Argenteau; Marianne Faithfull as Empress Maria Theresa; Judy Davis, Danny Huston, Molly Shannon and so forth. Jason Schwartzman is so convincing in making Louis XVI a hapless buffoon that it seems natural to him. 

Overall, what you get with Marie Antoinette is ambiance, helping us empathize with the character Marie Antoinette as played by Kirsten Dunst, though it's also easy to see why in reality the status quo will be destroyed by the French Revolution.

Today's Rune: Joy. 


Charles Gramlich said...

Been a long time since I've seen such a drama. I guess Game of Thrones doesn't quite qualify

jodi said...

Erik-I adored everything about that movie. Total eye candy!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oddly enough, I have the soundtrack for this film, although I have no idea where or why I picked it up. It's fabulous, though, chock full of my favourite 80's music. I really must watch this film now.