This review is rated PG13, just like the film!
In an attempt to gear up for the misandrist Beguiled, I decided to warm up with 3 Sofia Coppola movies I have never seen. Mind you, one of hers, Lost in Translation, could be my number one modern era movie of all time (though Whiplash is close as is The Reader), so I have high hopes for this trio, the first of which is Marie Antoinette from 2006.
I need to fact check history^ in order to truly enjoy the plot (I’m not a fan of taking history and rewriting it, though isn’t that what memory is?*), but from what I gather of Sofia’s version, at least one small part was that her husband Louis wasn’t that into sex, but came through in the end. ^Post check: the film’s pretty accurate, save for the number of children and which ones lived vs. died.
*Recently, I had my own rewriting of history in a failed mini relationship which doesn’t happen too often in life. (Sometimes life brings you this close to a mulligan only to have it snuffed away. Like last year when I thought a reunion might happen with one of the three (seems to be a trio motif happening) greatest loves of my life, but when life quid pro quo inquiry was requested, away he ran. Which brings us to an approximate separate flight tie score of 5 to 5).
Anyway back to the nearer past, I take responsibility for this mini relationship’s original rocket’s failure to launch since I was unable to get passed that uncomfortable getting-to-know-you-phase. Possibly my life’s greatest tragic flaw.
In launch two, my past date/relationship came for a five day visit. Five days may sound like an easy feat to accomplish, but I’m a girl with two jobs who hasn’t had a serious relationship (tried with my every Saturday night 5 year long stint with my Jewish gentleman, but he was elusive, yet fun for my exhausted school teacher years) in a decade (come to think of it, probably no real solid relationship since Marie Antoinette was made! And if you thought I was going to say ‘lived’, how old do I look?!:)).
At any rate, on evening four (after two previous tko successfully fun nights!) of the encounter, we arrived home and my partner announced he had to take a shower. If I could rewrite history and make a movie like Sofia, I’d have my self/character say, “No please, take me like a cave man now. I could care less if you’re sweaty. I’ll get too tired by the time you’re out, let’s do this!”, but instead, I said mealy mouthed, like Marie Antoinette did for years (as her underlings whispered about her ‘frigidity’), “ok” and proceeded to horizontal, aka only-good-if-you’re-into-necrophilia-state.
Unfortunately, this one fatigued rejection** took the wind out of the visitation’s sails, and since we didn’t have years ahead of us for make up time, the remaining time fizzled as unspoken second guessing grew into fleeting lost opportunities.
But I digress, isn’t this a film review?! Ok back to Marie Antoinette and Sofia’s rewriting of history. Perhaps I passed this by, many moons ago, blowing it off as a stuffy biopic. Mais porquoi! M.A. combined modern music and some of THE most beautiful cinematography and costuming (won the Oscar for costuming) I have ever seen. Who doesn’t like hearing Bow Wow Wow’s “I Love Candy” while seeing French royalty in the height of their hedonistic eating, drinking and dancing?
And the cast, magnifique! I love Kirsten Dunst, cat teeth and all. I love every ounce of Jason Schwartzman (see former Jewish boyfriend, not JS obviously, but similar in the quiet serious faced, but percolating under the surface kinda way.) And I love even more Steve Coogan, that irresistible, sarcastic son of a gun. Two other special mentions were Rip Torn as Louis XV and Judy Davis as Comtesse de Noailles.
I noted bad editing twice in the film where it was obvious something had been chopped out and then like a cold slap in the face, the next scene jumped in. Perhaps that’s where Tom Hardy went (saw him in the credits, but that was all she wrote).
If you didn’t see it the first time, give Marie Antoinette a re-do. Like me, you might get two great nights of libidinous fun, music, eating and fashion out of it at least:)