Marie Antoinette (12A)



Drama (2006)
123mins US

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, Rip Torn
Director: Sofia Coppola
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Kirsten Dunst lets them eat cake in Sofia Coppola's long awaited follow-up to Lost In Translation, based on Antonia Fraser's novel, which chronicles the naive Austrian girl's rise to power as queen of France alongside King Louis XVI. Loathed by her people and unprepared for the scheming and skulduggery of court life, Marie literally loses her head during the violence and bloodshed of the French Revolution.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

Won Best Costume Design at The 79th Academy Awards® (25th February 2007)

LondonNet Film Review Marie Antoinette
Sofia Coppola's revisionist biopic of the 18th century queen, based on Antonia Fraser's novel Marie Antoinette: The Journey, is an extraordinary achievement in many respects...

Kristen Dunst in Marie Antoinette. Photo Credit: Leigh Johnson. Copyright: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.The French government granted special permission to the talented writer-director and her crew to film on location at the Chateau de Versailles, including access to Marie Antoinette's bedchamber and the renowned Hall Of Mirrors. Gorgeous rooms, lined with masterpieces by celebrated French artists, provide a luxurious backdrop to the unfolding drama, lending a historical veracity to Coppola's vision that production designer KK Barrett augments with specially created props and furniture.

However, this is no cosy costume drama. Indeed, Marie Antoinette is so far removed from conventional period pieces that it's little wonder French journalists greeted the picture with a chorus of boos at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Their queen doesn't even lose her head. Instead, Coppola invests her portrait with an unabashedly 21st century sensibility, which is evident from the opening image of young Marie (Dunst) reclining on an ornate chaise as punk anthem "Natural's Not In It" by Gang Of Four thrums on the soundtrack.

The screen pulsates with vivid colour - candy pinks are very much in evidence - as Marie devours a meticulously crafted pastry. From here, we rewind to witness 14-year-old Marie's entrance into French society. The Austrian princess bids adieu to her adoring mother (Marianne Faithfull) and friends in Vienna and heads for the French border where La Comtesse de Noailles (Judy Davis) supervises Marie's transformation into a blushing bride.

Arriving in the court of Louis XV (Rip Torn), whose dalliances with mistress Madame Du Barry (Asia Argento) are the scandal du jour, Marie nervously ingratiates herself to her husband, the Dauphin, Louis Auguste (Jason Schwartzman), who will ascend the throne upon the death of his father.

Gossipmongers within the court pour scorn on their new queen ("She looks delightful, like a little bit of cake. It will be interesting to see how long she lasts!") and Marie struggles to adjust to the rigorous social etiquette, such as being dressed by the ladies in waiting. She finds it even more difficult to engage her husband, which alarms the Austrian ambassador, Count Mercy D'Argenteau (Steve Coogan), who reminds Marie: "Nothing is certain about your place there until an heir is produced."

With a soundtrack that includes Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" and New Order's "Ceremony", Marie Antoinette is an audacious bid to refract this history lesson through the prism of contemporary pop culture. Coppola very nearly succeeds but the disparate elements don't always gel and the usually reliable Dunst, who looks like a fragile porcelain doll ready to shatter into a thousand pieces, is lost amidst the glorious mod stylings and the eye-popping whirl of taffeta bows and sumptuous food.

- Sophie Abell


London Cinemas

From Friday 16th June
To Thursday 22nd June

- Genesis Cinema
From Friday 23rd June
To Thursday 29th June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 16th June
To Thursday 22nd June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 23rd June
To Thursday 29th June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index