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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Marie Antoinette lacks focus

Picture a small, fourteen year old girl, one of the richest daughters of eighteenth century Austria. She is engaged to the son of the most powerful man in France, and after marriage, she lives in Versailles. There, her ladies-in-waiting dress her, feed her, and blame her when she does not provide an heir soon enough.

Personally, I might consider shimmying down the nearest parapet and running for dear life, but Marie Antoinette chose quite a different path.

Famous for her high-class style, Marie Antoinette took full advantage of her new title and lived an extravagant life. Parties for the elegant queen rocked late into the night, champagne was always present, and a fashion designer came frequently to design her exaggerated coif.

As a film, Sofia Copolla’s Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst as Antoinette and Jason Schwartzman as Louise XVI, was?very pretty. The costumes were appropriately antique and the lovely backgrounds added a tranquil ambiance. As the young queen, Dunst captured the character’s liveliness despite the lack of an appropriate accent.

Other than that, I still do not understand why this movie was made. Yes, the costumes and the palace of Versailles were authentic, and the scenes showcasing the French countryside held poetic value, but that was it. There was nothing even resembling historical significance in this film.

For the two hours that I watched, I learned that Marie Antoinette liked to lie around eating bonbons and had an obsession with shoes and gowns. Everything seemed to be going fine ? boring, but fine. There was no conflict to concentrate on, just eye candy for the innocent.

Louis XVI developed into nothing short of a nerd who enjoyed making keys, which was probably the only historically accurate component in the movie. Besides that, I learned nothing more about the soft-spoken king.

All of a sudden, after the quick death of Antoinette’s third child, the peasants were revolting. Nobody gave a legitimate reason why. Suddenly French peasants stormed outside of Versailles with torches and pitchforks, shouting for the queen to show herself.

Though it was slightly confusing, this ten-minute segment was the only scene in the entire movie that sparked interest.

Whoever chose the music obviously tried to break the monotony of the film by adding rock ‘n roll tunes, such as the popular song “I Want Candy,” to the ‘exciting’ moments from the film. It was cute once or twice during the beginning and end credits, but turned the film into a joke.

This movie flitted about for hours as if Sofia Coppola herself had no focus and simply had $40 million to burn. The director tried too hard to make Antoinette a likeable person when we all know that she squandered France into millions of dollars of debt because she enjoyed sweets and gambling far too much. Her own career was epitomized by the phrase ‘let them eat cake’ in response to the starving masses.

Admittedly, many might enjoy watching Dunst wearing pretty dresses and munching on candy for an afternoon. However, I think that movies require purposes, so some should make the decision to skip Marie Antoinette and head for Blockbuster.

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  • J

    JeannieAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Is that Matt Brouwer and April Fujihara?

  • R

    Rishele RossAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Who is that?

  • L

    Lisa LumeyaAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Wow, that’s brave….who is that?