Sunday, March 18, 2007

That's ridiculous. I would never say that.

So over the weekend I rented Marie Antoinette on DVD.

I really, really wanted to like this movie. I liked Coppola's Lost in Translation, even if I did feel it was somewhat overrated. I love Jason Schwartzman, and I love Kirsten Dunst. I'm not really sure why I love Dunst, to be honest; she's just kind of precious. She's fun, and sweet.
Anyway, the problem with this film for me was that it seemed... kind of choppy. The scenes seemed a bit disconnected; like they were each a little individual vignette or a day in the life, and they had no real place in the movie. Except that every scene was like that. I don't know if it was the directing, or the writing, or the editing, or maybe some combination thereof; I remember reading somewhere (perhaps in a criticism) that perhaps that was Coppola's intent with the film, a purposeful choice to make clear the disconnect that Marie had with the world around her. I do know that it kept taking me out of the film, and that's almost never the intent of anyone involved.

I liked Schwartzman, playing the young King as exactly that... a very young, nervous man who would rather be hunting with his friends (the 18th century version of skateboarding?)
I don't intend to say that I didn't enjoy Marie Antoinette. On the contrary, I did. The costuming is gorgeous, the cinematography stunning. I know there is a great deal of debate on the subject of the use of contemporary music in period films, but I enjoyed that too. It was done well here.
I also understand there is much consternation over the inaccuracy of the historical information. I certainly make no claim to be any kind of scholar where history is concerned, so I can't really say one way or the other. I do know that filmmakers pretty much always take some 'artistic liberties' with a story such as this. Every film pretty much automatically bears the viewpoint of its writers, directors, and editors (not to mention actors, among other crew).
I had the same difficulty with Terence Malick's The New World. Another gorgeous film, but very choppy and odd in its editing. That, however, is a topic for a different post.