Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Marie Antoinette

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo.
Profanity:Some crude language
Nudity/Sex:Non-sexual nudity, brief explicit, but not graphic sexual situations, references to impotence, adultery, homosexuality
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking, snuff
Violence/Scariness:Peril, offscreen violence, offscreen deaths, including a child
Diversity Issues:Class issues a theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007

With this third film, we can begin to see the themes emerging in the work of writer/director Sofia Coppola. Again, she has given us the story of a sensitive, vulnerable young woman trying to find a place and some meaning in an incomprehensible environment. In her last film, Lost in Translation, Scarlett Johansson was a dislocated young American wife and former philosophy major drifting in Tokyo. In the first, The Virgin Suicides, Kirsten Dunst was one of five young sisters lost in the scary world outside their home. In this one, Coppola returns to Dunst as the title character, the Austrian princess married to a French prince at age 14 and executed by guillotine along with her husband and children.


On her first morning in France, she is informed that she will be dressed and attended to every morning by the titled ladies in waiting. As she stands, naked and shivering while they sort out whose rank entitles her to bring her clothes, she laughs nervously, but acquiesces. She has been raised to do as she is told. Everyone stands around and watches as she eats her dinner. There is a constant crowd around her like that cell phone commercial with the enormous network.

As Marie Antoinette is urged, with increasingly less diplomacy, to make sure her shy husband consummates the marriage, she tries to do her best for Austria, for her mother, for everyone. She finds some diversion in what today would be called retail therapy. But she finds her greatest happiness in the smallish Petit Trianon, pretending to be an ordinary mother.


Coppola’s characteristically impeccable sense of detail ensures that every bow on every shoe, every dot of frosting on every bon-bon, every shot of Dunst’s creamy dimples, just right. She courts controversy with glimpses of modernity and a contemporary soundtrack, but it works well — a sort of John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club Part 2: A Semester at Versailles.


But that’s not a bad take on this story of two teenagers whose response to the death of the king was “We are too young to reign.”

Parents should know that the film has some mature material, including non-sexual nudity, discussions of impotence and (non-explicit) portrayal of an affair. A child dies (off-camera). The executions are not depicted, but it is clear what is going to happen.


Families who see this movie should talk about what Marie Antoinette wanted and why. Given the extensive traditions of the court, what could she and Louis have done to prevent the revolution? Did this film make you sympathetic to them? How?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the book and Amadeus, as well as a more light-hearted mix of historical epic and modern music, A Knight’s Tale.



Previous Posts

Claire LaZebnik's Thoughts on Thanks
I can't think of a better way to start Thanksgiving weekend than taking a few minutes to read my friend Claire LaZebnik's wise and inspiring essay on gratitude. This most American of holidays is often accompanied by stress -- from hosting and being hosted, from traveling, from family. Claire write

posted 9:39:41am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Horrible Bosses 2
Maybe it's just the proximity to the horrible "Dumb and Dumber To," but the cheerily offensive "Horrible Bosses 2" made me laugh. Full warning -- it begins with an elaborate sight gag as our hapless he

posted 5:58:28pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Penguins of Madagascar
The most adorable characters from the first three animated "Madagascar" movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to Kowalski (Chris Miller), the literally explosive Rico (Conrad Vernon), and the ever-loyal Private

posted 5:17:32pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the Miniseries
Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of those delicious stories that transports the reader to another world, so enthralling that it is difficult to leave. The setting is historical, England in 1806, as the Napoleonic Wars are being fought on land and at sea. Most peopl

posted 3:58:53pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Jurassic World with Christ Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RFinNxS5KN4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 3:53:04pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.