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Marie Antoinette (2006)

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The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

Director:

Sofia Coppola

Writer:

Sofia Coppola
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Popularity
2,024 ( 753)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirsten Dunst ... Marie Antoinette
Jason Schwartzman ... Louis XVI
Judy Davis ... Comtesse de Noailles
Rip Torn ... Louis XV
Rose Byrne ... Duchesse de Polignac
Asia Argento ... Comtesse du Barry
Molly Shannon ... Aunt Victoire
Shirley Henderson ... Aunt Sophie
Danny Huston ... Emperor Joseph II
Marianne Faithfull ... Empress Maria Theresa
Mary Nighy ... Princesse Lamballe
Sebastian Armesto ... Comte Louis de Provence
Jamie Dornan ... Count Axel Fersen
Aurore Clément ... Duchesse de Char
Guillaume Gallienne ... Vergennes
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Storyline

"All eyes will be on you," says the Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa to her youngest daughter Marie Antoinette. The film, marketed for a teen audience, is an impressionistic retelling of Marie Antoinette's life as a young queen in the opulent and eccentric court at Versailles. The film focuses on Marie Antoinette, as she matures from a teenage bride to a young woman and eventual queen of France. Written by Scrltrose83

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At 15 she became a bride. At 19 she became a queen. By 20 she was a legend. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A few quotes from the film are directly taken from Marie Antoinette's actual life and from the biography by Lady Antonia Fraser that the film is loosely based upon. Louis XV's comment about Marie Antoinette's bosom upon her arrival in France, Marie Antoinette's comment on having enough diamonds when presented with the opportunity of receiving some as a gift from Madame du Barry, Marie's comment to Madame du Barry about there being a lot of people at Versailles on the day of their infamous first exchange of words, and Marie's comment to her husband, Louis XVI, during a gambling party, explaining that Louis told her she could throw the party but never specified for how long are all actual exchanges of words and conversations from different events in the queen's life. See more »

Goofs

When Marie's party arrive on the grounds of Versailles, the sky is white. When they arrive at the palace itself, the sky is filled with storm clouds. See more »

Quotes

Marie-Antoinette: [to her first-born, a daughter] Oh, you were not what was desired, but that makes you no less dear to me. A boy would have been the Son of France, but you, Marie Thérèse, shall be mine.
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Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ceremony
Written by Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner & Stephen Morris
Performed by New Order
Courtesy of London-Sire Records Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
A sensory delight
27 May 2006 | by jmb360See all my reviews

Based on the recent Marie-Antoinette biography by Antonia Fraser, Sofia Coppola's film focuses on the personal qualities of the character of Marie-Antoinette and thus participates in the character's historical rehabilitation. Antoinette is seen as a respectful loyal daughter, a loving mother, a patient wife, who had to withstand a flood of vindictive criticism since the moment she set foot in the French court. This depiction contrasts strongly with many prior representations of the character in film ("The Affair of the Necklace" for example), which show her as superficial, selfish and vain.

The visuals and auditory elements, which evoke a powerful image of 18th-century Versailles, are the movie's forte. And their effects linger in one's mind (or at least they did in mine) long after one's exit from the theater. As a budding art historian, I was stunned by the intensely lush visual spectacle the film has to offer: the pomp and circumstance of ritualized and regimented 18th-century Versailles. The semi-private world that Antoinette builds for herself to escape Versailles's codified, quasi-totalitarian atmosphere, is evoked through a sequence of fast-moving images of champagne-guzzling, beautifully-decorated cake-eating, and Manolo Blahnik shoe buying. Thus Antoinette's fantasy world is likened to a world recognizable to you, me and Carrie Bradshaw. Some people may scoff at this 21st century world transposed to an earlier time. But as the center of the world in 18th-century Europe, Marie-Antoinette's "secret Versailles" would certainly have been as "hip" as this, and Coppola has found effective means through sound and image by which to make this hipness accessible.

The story zooms in on the character of Marie-Antoinette, played by a ravishing Kirsten Dunst, who arrives at Versailles at the tender age of 14, to become queen of France a mere 5 years later. Coppola emphasizes the loneliness of Antoinette throughout the film: most important is her alienation from the French court by the fact that she is a foreigner (something that made her a scapegoat for all of France's problems during the 1780's). Her powerlessness to "fit in" is emphasized also through her sexual alienation from her socially-awkward husband (played by Jason Schwartzmann), her mother's chidings that she has not yet produced an heir to the French throne (and thereby has not secured Austria's political place in Europe), and the bitchy gossip that goes on behind her back at court.

Marie-Antoinette is depicted as an intensely personable, friendly and playful person. Coppola fashions a Marie-Antoinette who is a dutiful daughter, a patient wife to Louis (who eventually overcomes his shyness and becomes a loving and protective husband and father), and a caring and tender mother. She is shown as both bold and humble, two qualities which had quasi-miraculous effects on both the court and the angry mob, as is shown in some of the film's most touching moments.

Equipped with these "essential" personal qualities, the charges traditionally made against Marie-Antoinette fade completely. It is precisely Antoinette's ill-fated attempt at fitting into French court society that causes her escape into a world of idle futility and libertinage. Her escape into the world of "playing shepherdess" in her pleasure-house of Le Hameau is shown not as a silly escape from responsibility but as the simple human need to be surrounded by the natural world. This place appears to us as it does to Antoinette: as a refuge from the backbiting, totalitarian regime of Versailles. Even the legendary "let them eat cake" statement allegedly made by Marie-Antoinette is discarded as fiction.

There is almost no place in the film for the 18th-century reality as it existed outside the bubble-like world of Versailles. This is not the movie's purpose. The end of the film is a bit abrupt: the last image shows the royal family heading to Paris to be imprisoned in the building of the Conciergerie. There is no mention of the guillotine anywhere, which again can seem surprising, but which shows that Coppola deliberately tried to eschew stereotypes and do something different. And it is all to her credit.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | France | Japan

Language:

English | Latin | French

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marie Antoinette See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,361,050, 22 October 2006

Gross USA:

$15,962,471

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,917,189
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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