Last night I saw Marie Antoinette, an exhilirating, realistic glimpse of the subject's life during her time in France.
Kirsten Dunst makes a perfect Marie—naughty and naive as a youth, clever and indulgent as a queen, and brave and sensible as a target of immense hatred. It's easily her best role yet. And her supporting cast is great too. From the sexually challenged Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman) to the sexually charged Madame du Barry (Asia Argento), each actor fulfills their role and then some.
Sofia Coppla's writing style is brilliant. Every bit of dialogue sounds like words that would actually come out of the mouths of the historical characters, which makes it easy to follow. The fast-paced, blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes are reminiscent of Baz Luhrman's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but not as dizzying.
The authentic sets (i.e. the actual palace where the actual Marie Antoinette reigned), coupled with extravagant costumes that are sure to attract attention during awards' season, make the viewer feel as if they're a party attendee rather than an audience member.
Can you tell I had a good time at this film? Well, I did.
That of course doesn't mean that it's perfect, because it's not. The pace in the beginning is frightfully slow and the time spent dwelling on the young couple's non-existent sex-life is too lengthy, but the payoff of an engaging middle and exciting end (though we all know how the story turns out before we arrive at the theater) makes it a worthwhile way to spend two hours.
Just go see it.