ANTOINETTE sees her as a bird in a gilded cage. Essentially traded like property
to the French royal family for politicalcapital, Marie lives the high life but one
dominated by ennui and loneliness. Coppola’s Versailles insulates Marie from the
outside world, all the better to understand why she fritters away her time onfashion and sweets while opposition to the crown builds in the streets of Paris.
MARIE ANTOINETTE is a gorgeous film with sumptuous production and costume
design. Cinematographer Lance Acord’s naturallighting creates a fantasy world
inside the royal home and highlights the beauty of the countryside with sun-
kissed shots. Every frame of MARIE ANTOINETTE is like a painting, be it the
stunningimages of reflected light on the palace or the teeming party scenes.
Coppola’s talent with imagery and atmosphere make her narrative weaknesses all
the more glaring. The fashion-conscious MARIEANTOINETTE looks great. Imagine
what this attractive but empty shell of a movie might have been with something
inside it. Coppola has borrowed a thing or two from Wong Kar-wai when it comes
to depictingwistful alienation, but unlike her previous efforts, here she struggles
to give audiences any reason to care. There’s little psychological depth to the
characters, and often they’re undercut bystilted dialogue, perhaps none more
Schwartzman came to attention as Max Fischer in Wes Anderson’s RUSHMORE.
Whether fair or not, it’s hard to separate the actor from hisbreakthrough role,
especially when playing another awkward, sullen character with an odd hobby.
Magnifying the problem, Coppola’s screenplay leads many of the performers to
act as though this period pieceis a contemporary production staged by the Max
Fischer Players. Some of MARIE ANTOINETTE is intended to play as comedy, but
it's not always clear when that's the case and when it's accidentally...