Marie Antoinette in the grass
© Columbia Pictures

The Marie Antoinette movie of Sofia Coppola is a period piece but yet postmodern, not just the ordinary historic costume drama. The soundtrack is full of classic modern rock tracks and she gets away with that, but just barely.

We saw it this Wednesday and I think that I’m a bit conservative – seeing all these historic costumes made me wanna hear music from the same period!

© Columbia Pictures

There are excellent scenes from the inside of the magnificent Versailles. I read some where that they got access to Versailles on Mondays when it’s closed to take the scenes. They even got access to Marie Antoinettes private suite, so they really made the environment as authentic as it is possible.

© Columbia Pictures

We actually went to this movie mostly to see Versailles and these gorgeous 18th century costumes with wide skirts, flounces, bows, most elegant jewelleries and not to forget: hairstyles built on the height. Oh, and the unbelievable shoes which I don’t think really represent the time period accurate and are designed by Manolo Blahnik.

This was obvious a decadent fashion she was inspiring too. She was a trendsetter for the whole Europe. Sometimes the 18th century fashion is almost naughty with their decolletages. Funny how it were almost a sin to show the feet or legs, but their boobs almost popped out ;-)

© Sony Pictures

Every one is nagging about those most fabulous cakes in the movie, but I must say that I hardly even noticed them – despite the fact that I’m a hungry monster ;-) I was occupied looking at all the fantastic costumes and interiors in Versailles!

Marie Antoinette carriage
© Columbia Pictures

And the carriages… Like in a fairytale! Not to mention the horses! A complete festival to anyone that loves horses! As the matter of fact, Marie Antoinettes hubby (lol) Louis XVI played by Jason Schwartzman had the most beautiful, powerful horse which he did ride quite well (or the stuntman?).

© Sony? Pictures

Despite the fact of the history of her life I found that this movie had a serious lack of drama, frankly it was quite pale to me. It didn’t make any impressions. Kirsten Dunst is not only pale in the skin, but her acting in this movie is pale too – even if some people claim that’s Coppolas intention, I don’t buy that as an excuse.

© Columbia Pictures

Not even the fact that this was by a famous director or the expensive costumes could lift up that fact. Even if we consider that this wasn’t about the history of Marie Antoinette in that historical sense, but to show the poor rich girl which was despised – I still find it quite pale.

She didn’t really succeed in bringing forward the message. I didn’t feel sorry for Marie Antoinette – the poor rich girl and don’t think we can show the connections between how it is today and then with this kind of mixed presentation either.

There is simply no point of making it this way, she could have gotten her message to the audience by a modern movie, so why do the period stuff at all? Always these experiments that don’t make any sense to common people!

This is a very bored or I might even called it numbed Marie-Antoinette, neglected by her hubby, in the worlds most famous building, shopping and party’ing, just like a rich young trendsetter girl of today would do. I do think that the storyline might had been better without mixing it with the historic touch.

Marie Antoinette's love life with the king
© Sony? Pictures

Marie Antoinettes love life certainly weren’t much to brag about. It seemed to be quite non-existing. At least not with her hubby ;-) I find this part of the film quite interesting actually. Sure, they were quite young at the time for their marriage and the king supposed to be very shy and timid, but from there to not have any love life?

It’s quite hard to believe. How come? I do believe that they talked a lot about these things even in that time, even if they didn’t know exactly as much as we know today.

It was the same with our Swedish king Gustav III actually. The rumors say that he needed guidance (or assistance!) of the manager of the kings stable in the bedroom the first time the king should make love to his bride Sofia Magdalena.

Wouldn’t “nature instincts” take care of that part even in that time period? I think that the problem was that these men and women were born in the court. The working class surely must have been more informed than these two kings…

Marie Antoinette's lover Von Fersen
© Sony? Pictures

Coppola also changed the evidence of the history a bit by making the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen to Marie Antoinette’s lover. We found this very amusing of course, especially since they had choosen Jamie Dornan as Von Fersen, who actually have quite a resemblance with our Swedish Royal Crown Prince Carl Philip… It’s something about his strong chin and the eyes… I wonder if it is on purpose? *giggles*

The movie gives you the impression of that at least one of her children actually was Von Fersen’s child, from their love meetings. How about that? Swedish blood in the royal family? *lol* On the other hand, we have French blood in our royal family, so I guess it’s just even?

Marie Antoinette's love life with the king
© Sony? Pictures

The movie is rated for it’s sexual content and partial nudity as it would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up, but frankly I find that a bit silly. It’s not like they’re showing some real nudity or sexual action in this movie that would be inappropriate. I wish they were, because in that case we might had get to see some passion and feelings which I really missed.

Yes, they show her from behind or with her arms in front of the breast and some short blurry bedroom scenes – so what’s the big deal?

The court seemed to be surprised by the mob and the revolution, which we found really odd. Were they really that “snowed in”? The movie left me with a lot of questions that made me convinced of the fact that it’s a very good thing to read a lot about the French revolution just before going to this movie. And maybe afterwards too.

I would have loved to see a real historic movie about her life, to hear authentic conversations in the 18th century. What did they talk about? Surely there were a lot of gossip, but what else? I can’t believe that there were so short conversations as in this movie. You didn’t really got a grip over anybody’s character because of the lack of conversations and face expressions.

At the end they kind of lost the thread in the movie and it gives a feeling of an unfinished movie. So I didn’t like the end (but I seldom do :-) . Even if I actually didn’t want to see her go to the guillotine, I still wished for some kind of closure.

To sum it up very short: It was just like I thought before I had seen this movie, if you’re interested in beautiful 18th century clothes and interiors, then you’re going to get most out of it. The movie is worth seeing, but not on my top list.

They even wrote about her in a number of Vogue – not a surprise since she was that big trendsetter of the fashion in Europe. As they sayed:

“Styled secrets of Marie Antoinette Kirsten Dunst as the teen queen who rocked Versailles”.

Marie Antoinette in vogue

(See 13 of Marie Antoinettes dresses in the post below)

9 Comments on “More passion Marie Antoinette!”

    TorAa said:

    A very reflective posting. There is something with americans making historic movies: They are composed for an American(i.e. USA) public. It seems more important to satisfy the audience and builld up under what the audience believes, more than facts. Don’t disturb my view of the history and the world.

    Talkin about historical films related to France: Moliere, that’s my number 1. I never forget the scene when they arrived Versaille with the Gondola over their heads and launched into the pond. Marvellous moment.
    Have you seen it? And the music: heavenly. Just taken of out the epoque. The dialog as well.

    I think I must go to bed.

    PS. Can’t believe it: It snows.

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I see what you mean. Ah, Moliere, that sounds very interesting yes, so I must try to found that one – that made me really curious.

    Snows? Don’t scare me like that… I was forced to look outside to see if we had gog any during this night, but no… thank god. Phew! I hate snow.

    that frolicsome kid said:

    Oh, no wonder Mary Antoinette rings a bell! She was the wife of some French king? Yeah, and her husband chopped her head off?

    Oh dear, my world history is terrible! :oops: I forgot what I read in my encyclopaedia.

    Well, I’m not a fan of historical movies as they bore me :roll: Lol, sorry!

    Lifecruiser: Eh, yes on the half of that first sentence except that it wasn’t her hubby that chopped her head off.

    Maybe he wished to do it but it wasn’t him ;-)

    Nils said:

    I said I had intended to see this movie, but thinking some more about it and reading your review, has made me decide against it.

    While I certainly loved Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, I’m beginning to fear she doesn’t ‘have it’, really. Sure, this is a stunning mix of a period piece and a contemporary artistic approach (but if the shoes are by Blahnik, that kinda gets too modern and commercial for me), but I doubt if it will stand the test of time itself.

    Hats off to the creative team, though: the sets and costumes do seem amazing. But it makes me think of The Great Gatsby with Redford and Farrow: well done on the mere scale of things, but so dated and mellow now, you wouldn’t believe it. A flawed movie if you ever saw one. I fear this will end up in the same category.

    If you’re really interested in the subject, I’d suggest you look for La nuit de Varennes by Ettore Scola (1982). A real masterpiece of cinema and just as beautiful to simply look at.

    Final conclusion (yes, without having seen it – how arrogant of me): I have no need for some silly approach to dramatic historical events and the superficial adoration of what was a vile upper class that got what it deserved. Now there.


    Lifecruiser: It’s so common, to creat a huge success, but then to be able to do that repeatable, that’s a totally different thing! And I sincerely doubt that this will stand the test of time. Yes, Gatsby is an excellent example in that case too.

    Thanks for the tip about La nuit de Varennes, I sure will look after it! It’s so great to get recommendations :-)

    Debbie said:

    This would not have been my kind of movie to go see! I am not really a history buff of any kind especially when the director can make changes to the history to suit the movie!

    But the costumes and hair designs really do look interesting. I will repeat what I said before, there is no way I could wear those skirts but I do find the tops very interesting!

    Lifecruiser: I haven’t been a history buff, but I’ve been turning into one the recent years. I guess it’s because I’m getting OLD ;-)

    Yes, the skirts is a bit difficult to handle, in stairs and when dancing and not to mention: in the toilet!!! Phew!!!!! I’ve tested since our wedding clothes is 18th century.

    Hootin' Anni said:

    I love historical pieces also!!! The era I really like best is England’s Henry VIII period. But I will take anything in historical epics such as you’ve posted!!

    They’re so interesting, aren’t they?
    (my newest book I’m reading is Boelyn Inheritance…about Anne Boelyn and her siblings and rivalries.

    Thanks for the visit….happy weekend.

    Lifecruiser: Well, I certainly can understand that, it’s a fascinating period that too! It’s funny how interested I’ve had become as an adult, in totally different way then as young! I think my teachers must have been real bad, because they haven’t succeeded to catch my attention….

    Jane said:


    I had some different reactions to the movie. I thought Kristen Dunst did a good job. I never thought that Marie A. was a deep character, she was a young girl trapped in a lifestyle who learned to love it. The scenes the first day where the ladies in waiting were getting her dressed showed her life in the prison. I didn’t feel too much sympathy for her because lets face it she had it easy in many ways. But I thought the routines and everything were interesting. I saw this the week after seeing The Queen and there are some parallels although the Queen is a perfect film and Marie A. is not. I liked the music. I did get bored during some of the gambling scenes. It just got a little long. I also thought the ending was anti-climactic.

    Lifecruiser: How different one can think. I thought that she didn’t really act :-) Even if M A wasn’t a deep character, I thought that Dunst didn’t even catched the childish and spoiled M A as she could have done. I’m quite sure of that M A was more than this non-person in the movie. We read in different things :-)

    Judytta said:

    I saw today “MariÄ™ AntoniÄ™” and it was for me very interesting film.

    Lifecruiser: What did you find most interesting? It would be interesting to know :-)

    Irish Church Lady said:

    Thanks for the movie review. I love period movies with the costumes but I have not had a chance to see this yet.

    Lifecruiser: You’re welcome. I always appreciate reviews from friends more than fropm the pro’s. I find my friends more reliable :-)

    aka R'acquel said:

    Interesting to read your thoughts on this as i had a friend who felt the same way about the film. It was very “beautiful” to look at but she wasn’t impressed by the plot. It was enough to make me read up on the history online, which i found to be fascinating. I agree with you tho, the costumes look very noice indeed! :P

    Lifecruiser: Yes, they were wonderful. But now when it has passed some time, I still would want to see a more historic authentic one. THAT would be something!

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