The media couldn’t get enough of the story of French critics at Cannes giving this film a resounding “boo,” but hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? Sure it is, which explains why you’re going to see Sofia Coppola’s take on the age-old story anyway. Let them eat popcorn!
1. The “Boo” heard round the world: When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Marie Antoinette drew boos from French critics who were perhaps angered at seeing their history from an American viewpoint.
2. Kirsten Dunst: Dunst, who plays the young queen, has worked with Coppola in the past, starring as Lux Lisbon in Coppola’s 1999 film, The Virgin Suicides. Next up? The decidedly less regal character of MJ in Spider-Man 3.
3. Sofia Coppola: Coppola has had to endure major critical scrutiny due to her famous father, Francis Ford Coppola, but has come through pretty well, going on to become the first woman ever to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director in 2004.
4. The story behind the movie: Basically, Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI at 14, became queen at 19. Best remembered for her love for excess and for saying, “Let them eat cake” (a phrase some say she never actually declared). She was beheaded at 38 for treason during the French Revolution. For the film, Coppola only read the book on the queen by Antonia Fraser, according to imdb.com.
5. Versailles: The French government granted special permission for Coppola’s crew to film this movie in the Palace of Versailles, where the real queen lived from the time of her marriage in 1770 until the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Coppola was allowed to film a ball scene in the Hall of Mirrors despite the fact that the room was set to be in restoration until spring 2007.
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On the Web:
Marie Antoinette at sonypictures.com