No beheading. No limb from limb tearing. Except at Cannes, where the film actually got booed. Ah well, I still loved it.
Gentry and I arrived half an hour early for the 4:30 pm showing at Forum des Halles yesterday and ended up getting the last good seats in the house.
As we waited in line, we tried to spot who were Royalists and who were Coppolists. Gentry was wearing her satin covered Marie Antoinette slippers and jacket with Chantilly lace cuffs and I wore no mascara and my hair was a little pouffy (by accident). So it was very like seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show in drag.
I’m going to start with the bad: Kirsten mopes and sighs and runs down hallways suffocating in angst, and you just don’t care. Not caring about Marie Antoinette is bad.
And it didn’t have to be that way. Sofia Coppola is the queen of young women’s private moments. See: the entire film Lost in Translation. Woman waking up, woman in bathtub with her daydreams, woman just after she has said goodbye to her husband, woman looking longingly out window. But. Eh. We just don’t feel it here.
And I don’t think it can be blamed on Kirsten. I think it’s the script.
The good! The good! The eye candy, my god. The adolescent trippy hues, the party scenes, and the score. Gentry confirmed that all of the costumes were historically accurate (she was kind of hoping it would be more 2006 stylized and spark some new trends) and there was a delightfully high pug quotient. There was also a great supporting cast. Molly Shannon and that woman from Bridget Jones were brilliant as gossipy aunts. And I loooved the slutty, but good-friend-to-Marie, Duchesse de Polignac. Especially when she visits Marie at Le Petit Trianon and says, “Ooooh, I lahve the country!”
I personally was a huge fan of the cameos by obscure French fashion people. There were moments in big party scenes where I just turned to Gentry and said, “That's!” and she answered, “Yeah!”
And the beginning of the film is just terrific. There's a scene where Marie Antoinette is riding from Austria to France to meet her husband and we see the Dauphin playing swords in the crispy fall leaves with his friends and everyone’s all nervous. The anticipation is sweet and touching and the opening scenes just rock.
The main complaint I’m hearing in France? The film is too American. I really don’t get that. Are all movies made by Americans too American? Is Schindler’s List too American? I think the people who are saying it’s too American just mean that they would have preferred a film about history more than a young woman’s private life. If that’s the case, you have to blame Sophia Coppola, not America.
And if you’re blaming Sofia Coppola, you can just pack up and leave, just leave right now!
Ha! Ha! I kid!
(No but seriously, if you don’t like Sofia Coppola, you aybemay ontday antway to aysay it erehay. Psst. Come closer, closer. The Sofia Lovers will get you in your sleep and tear you limb from limb.)
La la la! So!
(No, but seriously, they will get you. You are in grave danger if you don’t leave right now.)
After the film, I had apéro with lovely young Annabel, who has this theory: if you wait for something long enough, you’re going to like it.
I love this because it totally flies against conventional wisdom to not set your expectations too high.
I also think it’s true. For me, no amount of bad dialogue could spoil the way Sofia Coppola films light filtering through trees. Or carriages trotting by at sunrise. The way she observes these things, quietly, from afar with no music, and you can just sort of smell dewy grass.