Sofia Coppola, 2006
This movie is trying to make a fairly sophisticated point: Yes, there
are evil people in the world who create mechanisms to aggregate wealth
and power at the expense of the masses. But those mechanisms are
self-perpetuating, and go on to work on behalf of the random people who
happen to pop out of privileged uteri. The French public loathed
Marie-Antoinette, and understandably so: people worked themselves
to death seemingly in order to supply her with shoes. The message of
this movie is that it wasn't her fault; she was just a warm body plugged
into a system that long preceded her and that she didn't understand.
The problem is that this message doesn't make for a very good movie.
The story of Marie-Antoinette's life is that upon reaching puberty
she was married off to a stranger in a strange country where she was
valued only as a support system for her reproductive organs. Thence
followed several years of dressing rituals, dining rituals, and failed
attempts at sexual intercourse — neither she nor her husband
knew the procedure. Then came several years of parties, pastries,
and dressing up. There are few things more tiresome than a
trying-on-hats montage, and Marie-Antoinette's lasted for twenty
years. So the fact that this movie is ultimately quite boring is
perfectly understandable. It's hard to do a biopic about someone to
whom nothing really happened.
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