Marie Antoinette

Tuesday 6th March 200710:00 PM

Often maligned, passionately debated and ultimately a misunderstood young woman, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), through Coppola's vision, emerges neither as staid historical villain nor divine idol -- but as a confused and lonely teenage outsider thrust against her will into a decadent and scandal-plagued world on the eve of disaster.

Oscar winner Sofia Coppola brings to the screen a fresh interpretation of the life of France's legendary teenage queen MARIE ANTOINETTE. Betrothed to King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), the naïve Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) at the age of 14, she is thrown into the opulent French court which is steeped in conspiracy and scandal. Alone, without guidance, and adrift in a dangerous world, the young Marie Antoinette rebels against the isolated atmosphere at Versailles and, in the process, becomes France's most misunderstood monarch.

Kirsten Dunst stars as the youthful princess whose fateful life became the stuff of myth and legend. The story begins when 14-year-old Marie Antoinette is whisked away from her family and friends in Vienna, stripped of all her possessions and deposited in the sophisticated and decadent world of Versailles, the lavish royal court near Paris.

Marie Antoinette is merely a pawn in an arranged marriage meant to solidify the harmony between two nations. Her teenage husband, the Dauphin Louis (Jason Schwartzman), is heir to the French throne. But Marie Antoinette is ill prepared to be the kind of ruler for whom the French populace yearns. Beneath her finery, she's a sheltered, frightened and confused young woman, surrounded by vicious detractors, insincere flatterers, puppet masters and gossips. Trapped by the conventions of her station in life, Marie Antoinette must find a way to fit into the complex and treacherous world of Versailles.

Adding to her woes is the indifference of her new husband, Louis. Their marriage goes unconsummated for an astonishing seven years. The awkward future king proves to be a disaster as a lover, sparking grave concerns (and relentless gossip) that Marie Antoinette will never produce an heir.

Overwhelmed and distraught, Marie Antoinette seeks refuge in the decadence of the French aristocracy and in a secret love affair with the alluring Swedish Count Fersen (Jamie Dornan). Her indiscretions are soon the talk of France.

Whether she is being idealized for her impeccable style or vilified for being unforgivably out of touch with her subjects, reaction to Marie Antoinette is always extreme. Yet, slowly, as she matures, she begins to find her way as a wife, mother and Queen -- only to be tragically swept up in a bloody revolution that alters France forever.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:

56%

Genre:

Biography, Drama, History

Director:

Sofia Coppola

Writer:

Sofia Coppola

Leads:

Kirsten Dunst, Marianne Faithfull, Steve Coogan, Clara Braiman, Mélodie Berenfeld, Judy Davis

Length:

123 minutes

Year:

2006

Country:

Japan, France, USA

Language:

French, English

These pages copyright Union Films, 2001-2017. All views expressed in these pages are those of Union Films, and are not necessarily those of the University Of Southampton, or the Students' Union. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective organisations.

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