Modern portrayal of queen loses audience

Jen Cornett

Most history books portray French monarch Marie Antoinette in a negitive light, emphasing her most famous words, “Let them eat cake,” to her starving subjects.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Oscar nominated director Sofia Coppola, however, takes Antoinette’s struggles and delves deep into the very core of who Coppola refers to as “France’s most misunderstood monarch.”

At the age of 14, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) is thrust out of her Austrian home to embark in an arranged marriage to Louis XVI of France (Jason Schwartzman). The accurately placed Indie-rock and 80’s music gives it an entirely modern spin.

Like Coppola’s previous films (The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation), the placement of each song flawlessly creates the intended response and flow with the scenes.

What Coppola does well is make the concept more coming-of age rather than a lengthy biography.

She nails what Antoinette is going through in her overwhelming life and makes the audience experience it too. The beginning is very fast paced, yet abruptly slows down.

This seems intentional by Coppola in order to emphasize how one would feel as the days drag on in a foreign place and an already failing arranged marriage.

However, as the movie continues this suddenly becomes frequent.

An event brief and fast paced will happen, then the film will get in a slow, tedious part that drags on far too long.

At this point it feels beyond artistic intention since the audience’s attention is lost, and the whole purpose the movie is lost along with it.

Although the scenery and landscape is completely breathtaking and the costumes are colorful and accurately elaborate, this is not enough to compensate for the roller coaster ride of abrupt events followed by numerous boring scenes that last far too long for anyone’s patience level.

Final Grade C

Kirsten Dunst stars in the title role of Columbia Pictures’ biographical drama Marie Antoinette. (Leigh Johnson)

Director/writer/producer Sofia Coppola (l) and Kirsten Dunst on the set of Columbia Pictures’ biographical drama Marie Antoinette. (Andre Durham)