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Drama - Historic

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Duration2h 3m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA PG-13, 
Source of storyReal events apparently as recorded by historian Lady Antonia Fraser.
DirectorSofia Coppola
Writers/ScriptSofia Coppola
StarringKirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy davis, Rip Torn, Rose Byrne, Asia Argento, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston, Marianne Faithful, Jamie Dornan, Steve Coogan, 

Elevator Pitch: As a means of creating a bond between Austria and France Marie Antoinette is married to the Dauphin.  She fourteen and he fifteen, but nevertheless they are expected to produce offspring, an objective in which they singularly fail, resulting in concerns in Austria, which are made known to future queen by the Austrian Ambassador. The offspring  crisis is overcome when her brother advises the former Duaphin, now Louis XVI, and children are born. However the queen enjoys gambling, fashion and parties and hence becomes a symbol of the profligate spending of the aristocracy in a country on its knees. We know what happens.

Content: There is sex, grim in the case of the king and queen, and some almost nudity when the princess is stripped at the border, and much later when she greets her lover, concealed only by a fan.  There is a lot of impressive travelling about in coaches and the interior of the palace of Versailles is prominent. The princess meets often with the ambassador who advises her, but she mostly takes no notice. The young married couple get on well, even if they are not doing it and later there are a lot of parties, some aspects of the queen’s life present in the film but not explained. The film concludes as most of the toffs are fleeing the country, while the king and queen decide to stay.

A View: I watched this with my wife, and we both enjoyed it even though we could hardly indentify anyone of the many elaborately dressed ladies and gentlemen. There were anchors, Steve Coogan an unlikely but excellent Austrian ambassador and Versailles appearing as itself, absolutely amazing. In the end the critics were divided and apparently there were boos from the audience at the Cannes Film Festival. It is true that we don’t even see the servants in the palace, never mind the disgruntled populace, who only appear once in the distance. But well worth your time for all that.

Additional Info: The film crew were allowed to store their equipment in what had been the real marie Antoinette’s bedroom.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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