Saturday, March 19, 2011

Marie Antoinette (2006)

An interesting critique of Sofia Coppola's film from Tradition in Action.

9 comments:

MadMonarchist said...

Yikes! I didn't think it was that bad. I suppose different things stand out to different people -rather than "obsessing" over Louis' "problem" I thought Louis a rather marginal character. I didn't like the affair either but overall I thought the portrayal of Antoinette was pretty sympathetic. She was kind, she was caring, she didn't say "let them eat cake" (I'm thrilled anytime that is pointed out) and as for Louis XV -well, he was a bit of a rascal.

On a related cinematic note, I recently watched again the Greta Garbo film "Christina". Ever thought of reviewing that on Sword & Sea?

Matterhorn said...

It's a good idea, but I haven't seen it yet;-)

Will you be reviewing "Christina" or have you already done so? If so, I will link to it on Sword and Sea.

Matterhorn said...

BTW, here is another review of "Marie-Antoinette", from Tea at Trianon:

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/05/review-of-marie-antoinette-2006.html

MadMonarchist said...

I thought about it a long time ago, didn't do it, then thought about it again after seeing it again. I'd still like to get your take on it though, I'm sure you know more about the Queen than I do and could have a better view of things. For now I'll just say that were it not such a very well done movie I probably would have felt cheated considering the plot.

Matterhorn said...

I'll see what I can do about it.

Gareth Russell said...

I thought this review was interesting, although as per the previous comments I'm not sure I thought the portrayal of the royal couple's marital difficulties was obsessive. I thought it was actually quite sympathetically done and it did capture the onslaught of abuse Marie-Antoinette received for not speedily conceiving. I also, unfortunately, had to laugh that the inclusion of the Queen's hairdresser was part of some Hollywood-pleasing "gay agenda." ...

Apart from that though, it was certainly interesting and I did think its critique of rendering the ancien regime ridiculous and the dissection of the Fersen affair were informative. Thanks for this!

Matterhorn said...

I thought the review was a bit over-the-top, as articles from TIA often are, but nonetheless interesting and provocative. I liked the point about how many of our contemporaries don't seem to be able to even conceive of purity as a possibility.

The girl in the film is good-hearted enough, which I suppose is an improvement on many popular notions of the Queen, but she isn't Marie-Antoinette. She has more the air of a modern American teenager, somehow caught up in a complicated, half-archaic, half-contemporary world of carriages, pastel-colored dresses, and pastries. A far cry from Ute Lemper's portrayal of the Queen in "L'Autrichienne", although, of course, that deals with a different part of Marie-Antoinette's life. Ute Lemper truly did seem to "become" the lady in question.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for linking to this, M. I have come across it before. I don't think the reviewer did all his homework about the royal marriage. There was constant pressure on Louis and Antoinette to consummate their marriage from both sides of the family. The entire court was obsessed with it. Simone Bertiere surmises that the problem was with Antoinette, not with Louis (See Marie-Antoinette: L'Insoumise)

Also the court etiquette was indeed very strict so that Marie-Antoinette did find it tedious. In fact, I thought the film was a little sloppy in the depiction of etiquette. There are many scenes of Marie-Antoinette walking through the palace and NO ONE bowing or curtsying. She was the Dauphine of France and every head woud have been bowed whether they liked her or not.

As for the Queen's alleged letter to Fersen, there is no proof that she even wrote the letter in question. It was not in her handwriting, only in Fersen's copied from a message in cipher. It could have been any of the many ladies in his life. For a discussion of this see:

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/06/fersen-legend-part-2.html

and

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/06/fersen-legend-part-3.html

Also, it is well known that the Queen did go to Confession and receive Holy Communion while at the Conciergerie. This does mean that she was laboring under any great guilt but that she sought to prepare for death as any good Catholic would.

Otherwise, I agree with the review that it was a movie that overall demeaned the Queen and the King.

Matterhorn said...

Thank you very much, Elena Maria, for the clarifications and the additional remarks and links.