Marie Antoinette | Chicago Reader

Marie Antoinette

Sofia Coppola's portrait of the French royal (Kirsten Dunst) got a nasty reception at the Cannes film festival, whose patrons must not have appreciated the palace at Versailles being used as the set for a John Hughes comedy. Pop tunes by the Cure, New Order, Gang of Four, and Adam and the Ants punctuate Marie's alternately giddy and lonely life in the court of King Louis XV (Rip Torn); the audacious conceit reaches its apex in a colorful montage of jewelry, fabric, shoes, and stacked glasses of champagne that's accompanied by Bow Wow Wow's “I Want Candy.” Coppola based her script on a revisionist biography by Antonia Fraser, though the film reads most poignantly as a personal statement; like Marie, the director was born to a life of privilege and carries the burden of a proud family legacy. The movie falls apart when the peasants storm the palace in 1789, an event completely outside Coppola's frame of reference—at least until the Cannes premiere. With Jason Schwartzman, Asia Argento, Judy Davis, Marianne Faithfull, Danny Huston, and Steve Coogan.

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