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.
Quiet teenager Marc Hall arrives as a new student at Indian Hills High School in Agoura Hills, California. He is befriended by fame-obsessed Rebecca Ahn. While at a party at Rebecca's house, the pair check unlocked vehicles on the street, taking valuables such as cash and credit cards. When Marc mentions that one of his wealthy acquaintances is out of town, Rebecca persuades him to join her in breaking into his house. Rebecca steals a handbag, mentioning that her idol, Lindsay Lohan, has the same one. She also steals cash and the keys to a Porsche, which the pair use to flee the scene. With the cash, the two go on a shopping spree, affording themselves the luxury lifestyle they admire in magazines. Marc visits a nightclub with Rebecca and her friends Nicki Moore, Nicki's adoptive sister Sam, and Chloe Tainer, where they rub shoulders with celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton. While researching Hilton on the Internet, Marc and Rebecca realize that she will be out of town....
Yeah this is a dismal misfire. Worse it shows a new Coppola that I'll be avoiding in the future. I say this as someone who can get excited for a project like this, one that embraces youth without sugarcoating the folly and pretensions, that brings a genuine curiosity to a vibrant world—in short something like Spring Breakers that in the thuggish lifestyle finds room for reflection.
This is a superficial look at superficial people, and I mean superficial in what Coppola sees of them. For what it's worth she decided to delve into these lives, apparently inspired by real events. The real events are not a concern here, they are always a springboard for our cinematic journey. She decided to bring these people into focus for us to see, at least so far as she could see into them.
And what does she see? A flaky, rootless youth that has not worked to create its world, that emptily covets expensive trinkets and finds them by merely walking through the door and grabbing stuff. This isn't just about these four individuals who sneak into celebrities' homes, it is a broader look at instagram culture. Naturally.
What's worse is that Coppola has not found some inner space where souls feebly try to know each other and participate, how stealing fabrics can be a search for the identity of what to wrap around self. I'm not saying they should have been shown as troubled romantics. Looking at my youth I recognize a lot of superficial obsessions with unimportant things, it comes with being young and just throwing yourself at this or that current, but I also recognize that as inadvertent part of a larger floating sense of everything feeling doable and airy, which is the essence of youthfulness.
It's what Korine brings to Spring Breakers and feels transcendent, the free wandering of mind.
Coppola tries to show some of that, for instance in the scenes of partying where time ecstatically slows, but is constantly bogged down by the surly need to press on with their neuroses and vacant desires. She adopts a catty and empty look because in her eyes they are merely catty and empty people. There's too much judgement here and not enough intuitive understanding of subtler pulls.
In the future I expect her to be torn to shreds for this one film. How is it that her Marie Antoinette, obviously modeled after her own self, can be shown wistfully in spite of the sheltered privilege as a quietly suffering soul but not these girls? It's a worthless film and even manages to reduce everything else she's done.
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