Issue: 7.1
e-mail me e-mail Brian
Hi Gang, and greetings from Hollywood!

Well, it seems the holiday season is just around the corner, and as usual, Hollywood scrambles to give us what they think we’d like. So far, I’d have been happier with the proverbial lump of coal in my stocking.

The new film season has gotten off to a slow start, beginning with “Marie Antoinette”. Honestly, I tried to get into this film as I did the original. The costumes were incredible, the acting, for the most part, quite good. Kirsten Dunst definitely steals the show as the doomed queen, an admirable accomplishment given the lack of support from her fellow actors. Good as they were, they were given little to do other than to stand around and make Dunst look good. The locales were far better than the original, especially the wedding sequence, which was filmed in the celebrated Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, despite the ongoing restoration of the wing. The cinematography was incredible, adding a scope and breadth the original couldn’t have dreamed of. While the film does boast some solid performances, most of the top actors were grossly underused. Judy Davis (originally, approached to play Maria Theresa of Austria,) was wonderful as the Contessa de Noailles, and Jason Schwartzman had a chemistry with Dunst that was sorely lacking between Norma Shearer and Robert Morley in the original. Rip Torn was good, as always as Louis XV. But here the laudable performances end. The rest of the cast like the sets and costumes are little more than window dressing.

Where director Sofia Coppola totally missed the mark was the score. Were this a parody, or a sketch on the Carol Burnett Show, the anachronistic music would have been a bonus. However, in a legitimate period piece such as this, it detracts from the work almost to the point of being annoying. Steel guitars and toneless voices have no place in the most glamorous royal court in the history of Europe! Worse yet, the incongruities of the film, blunders that out would not expect from a film of such magnitude and budget. In one scene, a platter of food on a table mysteriously vanished between camera angles. In the scene where the champagne glasses are tiered and the wine is poured into them, that style of glass hadn’t been invented yet. But most laughably, is the scene where Marie Antoinette is rummaging through her closet in search of some shoes, and one can see, if one looks closely, a pair of designer basketball shoes. Who know the Queen of France liked to play horse? Not me!

All in all, even if you’re a total purist such as me, you’ll enjoy this movie. “Marie Antoinette” tells a story, albeit a sad one, and does it with style and grandeur rarely found in films today. Dunst make you really care about her character, and if you don’t find yourself weeping here and there, you’ve got Dasani flowing through your veins. Overall, the film could have been better, but then I suppose that holds true of all movies. But nonetheless, this one does what it intended to do, which is to sweep the viewer up in a whirlwind on glamour and excess, and drop you tokhes first into the most bloody era in history. I don’t advise you eat anything before seeing this one. The executions scenes while restrained in their graphics are staged very realistically, and not for the faint-hearted! And for those of you on a diet, be warned that some of the foods in the banquet scenes will have empty gedyrems grumbling loudly. And lastly, gentlemen, be ready for your ladies to look at the jewelry and begin pestering you for one just like it!

Till next month, Gang!


Go back to:
The Gantseh Megillah
< Click icon to print page
Designed by Howard - http://www.pass.to

subscribe (free) to the Gantseh Megillah. http://www.pass.to/tgmegillah/hub.asp
A  print companion to our online magazine