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31 January 2010 @ 03:32 pm
is it 1789 yet???  
I don't think that was the reaction I was *supposed* to have to Marie Antoinette, which I finally saw last night because it was finally in at the library. But that's how I felt. It was a shame that such a beautiful movie was so lacking in anything like narrative or even interest, but there we are. Setting costume-drama visuals to '80s tunes does not a story make, no matter how inspired by the New Romantics one obviously was. I was very disappointed, as I think the juxtaposition of historical and modern could have been quite interesting--but instead it was just shots of pretty people wearing pretty clothes in no framework at all. Just because one's characters are bored does not mean that the viewer should be.

The really peculiar thing about the film, to me, was the fact that at no point was it ever made the least bit clear *why* we should care about this Marie Antoinette person (not even because she's, you know, a person, with an interesting and individual life), or why she should be so hated by the populace. Possibly that was meant to evoke "Marie Antoinette's" point of view (quotation marks because I don't know enough about the historical person, but the film character certainly seemed to be clueless about everything), but there must have been other ways to convey confusion without just leaving everything that looked like an event out of the film. Basically, she strolled around at Versailles for a while, tried on lots of pastel clothes, went to the countryside and strolled around in a perfume commercial for another while, went back to Versailles and drank a lot of champagne--and then there was a revolution! Out of nowhere! The end.

And, just as an aside, if we could drop that meme about how all costume dramas are stiff and mannered and boring--except for the one currently being made, of course, because it's so modern--I would be really, really happy.
La Reine Noire: Crystal Balllareinenoire on January 31st, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
I had more or less the same reaction to Marie Antoinette -- a positively gorgeous film, but there wasn't any substance to it. The modern juxtaposition thing can be done well and I've seen it done well, but there's got to be something behind it.
tempestsarekind: corset pouttempestsarekind on January 31st, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly! I kept waiting for something to happen--and okay, possibly that means that my experience of the film paralleled Marie Antoinette's experience of her own life, but the film should be able to portray her sense of waiting and boredom by some other means than just forgetting to have anything occur.
Constant Reader: domestically disabledskirmish_of_wit on February 1st, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
YESSSSS. And there was practically no dialogue! I feel like it's not a great sign when one is surprised when the subject of a biopic actually speaks.
tempestsarekind: very few dates in this historytempestsarekind on February 1st, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
I know! I was watching the little numbers on my DVD player as they ticked away, wondering when Kirsten Dunst was actually going to say something.