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Overstreet

Marie Antoinette (2006)

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I enjoyed the film. It helped to read some of these comments beforehand, so I understood that the film is a visualization of Marie's point-of-view, and reflects someone who totally lives in a bubble. I think the reason the supporting characters are so shallow, in particular the lack of emotion her husband shows, is because that's how Marie sees them. In the scene where she is shown on the balcony looking away from the palace, she looks vacant. This limited perspective is done quite well, and I admire the way Sofia Coppola is able to capture the emotional state of her main character (as she did in LiT).

Edited by Crow

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Jeff, I love this sentence from A. O. Scott, quoted in your latest Film Forum:

"To say that this movie is historically irresponsible or politically suspect is both to state the obvious and to miss the point."

Someday I hope to write a sentence like that.

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Yes. I don't often agree with Scott, but this is one of the better reviews I've read from him in a while. Even though I haven't seen the film yet, he's thought about it pretty carefully and so I tend to believe him. I really, really want to see this film.

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I saw this tonight with Sara (her second time to see it) and thematically, it reminded me of Sofia Coppola's first film, The Virgin Suicides.

Besides the obvious similarity of Kirsten Dunst starring in both films, the Dunst characters were both caught up in a world that was not of their making, unprepared for what existed in the world beyond their imposed boundaries, yet trying to make the best of an oppressive situation at home.

I imagine that Coppola somehow identifies with that theme in her own life, or has seen it played out in the lives of friends or family members.

Edited by TexasWill

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Did anyone notice how many people in or involved with the film are children of actors or directors? Sofia Coppola is Francis Ford Coppola's daughter. Jason Schwartzman is Talia Shire's son and cousin of Sofia Coppola. Danny Huston is John Huston's son. Asia Argento's entire family is involved in film-making. Mary Nighy is the daughter of Bill Nighy and Diana Quick. There are probably more that I didn't look up.

These are people born into the world of celebrity as were the characters they portrayed.

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Saw this last night.

I really liked the first half, wished they would have chopped about a half hour out of the middle, and then liked how it wrapped up.

I loved Dunst's performance. It's the best I've seen her do.

I wish they had given Schwarzman more to do. His character didn't really come to life until their first baby was born.

Edited by Croaker

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I checked it out from the library for a fourth time, never having succeeded in getting through more than a few minutes of it previously without nodding off. This time, I turned it on at 5:30 a.m., while doing my first workout on a recently inherited home treadmill. Not ideal, of course, but figuring that I nod off at any and all movies these days when I watch them in the evenings, I figured the change couldn't hurt.

I didn't want to blast the stereo -- the family was asleep -- and couldn't make out most of the dialogue at low volume. Eventually I turned on the subtitles, and that helped. But for the first several minutes, I simply watched the movie .. and I was stunned.

This movie is astonishing to look at. Every shot is gorgeous, and removing/lowering the dialogue only heightens the visual impact of the film. I remember when watching bits of the film earlier that I noticed how "pretty" it was, but you expect top-of-the-line costumes, production design, etc. in these historical films, right? I took it for granted.

What didn't quite register is just how superbly framed and composed the shots are. Tremendous. So I looked up the cinematographer, who turns out to be Lance Acord, who also filmed Lost in Translation, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich.

And now the twist: After being dazzled for 20 or 30 minutes, I went to work, came home, and turned on the movie late last night to finish it. I was in the recliner. I turned up the volume. Just like any regular movie viewing.

It didn't seem as interesting.

I fell asleep.

I saw bits of the film between my cat-napping. Nicely done, but not something I'm going to go back to a fifth time,unless it's just to look at the film for a few minutes and marvel anew at some of those shots. Wish they had been enough to keep me engaged and awake throughout, but they weren't.

Edited by Christian

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That's basically what I thought of it. It's a very pretty movie, but I didn't find much in it beyond that. Although from a critical perspective, I think that's kind of the point of the movie, so that doesn't necessarily make it a failure.

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I've attempted this a few times since my hard reaction to the trailer, and can't even get it into the film journal. I barely last 45 minutes, and I usually hate the parts I've stayed awake for. What is really harsh about this film is that it was, as Leary said earlier in the thread, the moment our crush on Coppola was given up. Twice as depressing, Taymor's Beatles film came out right around the same time. This was really a harsh time in film, from a female director's perspective. They had made huge leaps in progress, but at this point were unable to sustain it. People like me that cared about this would eat double chocolate ice cream while watching Bigelow's Point Break... on tape...

I simply won't go back and try Marie Antoinette again, there's too much bad history between us. It's going to have to be a film that takes me by surprise, tracks me down and forces me (usually through friends or family) to give it another try. Until then, I'm hardened to it.

FWIW, I still love her eariler works. A lot. Just blogged The Virgin Suicides last week, although I've been limited on time and it's more of a rant than well thought out.

Edited by Persona

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I feel sorry for you, Ryan. I don't know what you can ask for in any film that you won't already find perfected in Lost in Translation, and as far as atmospheric coming of age films go, The Virgin Diaries brings out the mystery full-force.

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I don't know what you can ask for in any film that you won't already find perfected in Lost in Translation

Bah. LOST IN TRANSLATION is cute, but it's little else. If you think that LOST IN TRANSLATION is the end-all, be-all of cinema, then it is I who feel sorry for you.

and as far as atmospheric coming of age films go, The Virgin Diaries brings out the mystery full-force.

THE VIRGIN DIARIES is her best film, and made her seem to be a more promising filmmaker than she has, to date, actually turned out to be. The trailer for SOMEWHERE already has me yawning.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Somebody feel sorry for me, then! I've seen Lost in Translation about eight times, and I love it with all my heart.

Edited by Overstreet

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eh, .

Edited by Persona

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Stef, I was actually replying to Ryan about LiT, not Marie Antoinette. (I've revised my post to be clear.) I liked Marie Antoinette quite a bit, though, and I need to see it a second time to get a better sense of it.

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Somebody feel sorry for me, then! I've seen Lost in Translation about eight times, and I love it with all my heart.

Likewise. It remains a great example of a film about a city. I don't love it with the entirety of my heart, but a large portion of it.

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Somebody feel sorry for me, then! I've seen Lost in Translation about eight times, and I love it with all my heart.

Well, it won't be me. I only have enough pity for one person at a time, and right now, Stef's got it. ;)

Seriously, I don't mind LOST IN TRANSLATION. As I say, it's cute. Has some nice photography. Some funny moments. But I don't buy the notion that it's some kind of a masterpiece.

Edited by Ryan H.

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LiT is one of my favorites, too - beautiful Tokyo film, with excellent portrait of two characters facing an existential and marital void. Seen it 3 times, loving it more each time.

'Marie Antoinette' was a meh experience for me, however.

Edited by Andrew

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Somebody feel sorry for me, then! I've seen Lost in Translation about eight times, and I love it with all my heart.

Well, it won't be me. I only have enough pity for one person at a time, and right now, Stef's got it. ;)

Seriously, I don't mind LOST IN TRANSLATION. As I say, it's cute. Has some nice photography. Some funny moments. But I don't buy the notion that it's some kind of a masterpiece.

I've never been so bowled over by LIT that I've sought it out a second time, although I did like it on first viewing, especially Murray's performance. Seen snippets on cable once or twice since then, and have pleasant memories of the film.

But while I wouldn't use the word "masterpiece" to describe it, neither would I ever call it "cute," which is underselling the film's themes and impact. Maybe it's just semantics, but that word does not sit well with me in describing LIT.

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