Well, apparently the French viewers at the Cannes Film Festival werenít all that thrilled with Marie Antoinette, a creative adaptation of a pivotal time in their history. However, Marie Antoinette works as a high-energy fairy tale for its intended audience: girls about the same age as its 24 year-old star Kirsten Dunst. She is warm and appealing in the role: pretty, but not unbelievably glamorous.
Itís a fun movie even if youíre not 24; you know itís not going to be a strict historical piece because of its catchy dance-club soundtrack. Therefore, youíre not surprised when Marie rides in a coach with plexi-glass windows and exclaims, ďOh, wow!Ē when sheís presented with the latest fashions. You donít mind her American accent or that of Jason Schwartzman who plays her betrothed, the nervous King Louis XVI.
Aside from a few mischievous anachronisms, the movie pays lavish homage to the past. Actually filmed at Versailles Palace, it lingers on the amazing gold-and-cream rooms. Exotic meals are served by fluttering swarms of servants, and consumed upon fancy silver and china. Extras swarm about, wearing powdered wigs and gorgeous gowns. Nobles ride to the hunt with packs of baying beagles. Huge fountains spout amidst severely pruned classical topiary gardens. No expense is spared to bring you, the viewer, the ultimate eye-candy!
The movie hits the highlights of Marieís life, beginning with her journey as a teenager to France and ending as the starving French mobs storm Versailles. In between are court politics, worry over nervous Louisís inability to consummate the marriage, lots and lots of gambling and parties and pop tunes, and some idyllic interludes where Marie and her beautiful toddlers hang out at their smaller palace in the countryside. This apparently really happened: Marie Antoinette, the monarch of France, enjoyed retreating to the simplicity of her cozy rustic country cottage, and acting out the fantasy of being a simple milkmaid. Marie Antoinette is at its best when simply showing us gorgeous scenes to look at. Relax and enjoy,