Drop-dead hip or cluelessly clueless? Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, a candy-colored portrait of France's infamous teen queen, is a graceful, charming, and sometimes witty confection -- at least for its first hour. The famously shy Coppola may be an inscrutable personality, but her bold expose of backstage royalty opens with a big wink and a few crashing chords, courtesy of Gang of Four. A slice of Austrian apple strudel imported to marry the 15-year-old French dauphin, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) arrives nakedly vulnerable in Versailles. Here, as with Coppola's previous features, an unformed young woman must find her way in a confusing, if stylish, world -- it's as though the defining moment in the filmmaker's artistic life was her arrival as a 20-year-old actress on the set of Dad's Godfather III. Marie's gravitas arrives like a bolt from the blue; the bubble bursts and the movie crashes definitively to earth at the moment when, informed of her legendary one-liner, the queen turns all, like, serious: "I would never say that." Whatever. Coppola ends on the image of a tragically trashed imperial boudoir. Let 'em lick icing.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Antonia Fraser and Sofia Coppola
Producer: Sofia Coppola and Ross Katz
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Judy Davis, Asia Argento, Marianne Faithfull, Aurore ClÃ©ment, Guillaume Gallienne, Molly Shannon and Steve Coogan