Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette ★★★★

The proudly anachronistic style of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette needn’t have kept me away til today. Aesthetics aside, this is a classical temperate tale of a violent and vibrant corner of human history. The Parisian courts of yesteryear are as rife with contradictions, cavortings, and cantankerous behaviour as the parliaments and palaces of today. 

Coppola revitalises the oft-told tale of the ill-fated Marie Antoinette. The rapturous throng of parties is punctuated by the subsequent silences. In those moments of stillness, we glimpse the alienation of the aristocracy without ever losing sight of the vulgarity of their excess. All the effervescence and grandeur of wealth cannot satiate or save even the queen herself.

This film is a risk. The result is resoundingly rewarding. I cannot help but sense some will be deterred by the modern touches Sofia Coppola chose to infuse this film with. Yet nothing quite matches the spirit she captures. Lockdown has been lonesome, so to live vicariously through Marie and her court - making eyes across the ballrooms of Versailles - is intoxicating to say the least.

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