Paris Hilton has nothing on Marie Antoinette

Sarah Madl

“Marie Antoinette” is a truly amazing portrait of a young lady who had too much too soon. She threw lavish parties, spent money on anything she felt like buying and pretty much partied like Courtney Love. One word that I would use to describe this movie is decadent; in every possible way.

I think it is a safe assumption that Sofia Coppola has hit another one out of the park. Coppola has really outdone herself with such directing credits as “Lost in Translation” and “The Virgin Suicides.” You may also remember her as Mary Corleone in “The Godfather Part 3,” directed by her father Francis Ford Coppola. Her father also stepped in as executive producer of Marie Antoinette.

Kirsten Dunst was so perfect for this role both in look and ability. She went from the beginning looking as wide eyed and innocent as a child to the end capturing a woman who has had too much too soon. Rip Torn is nearly unrecognizable as Louis XV. You also know him as Patches O’ Houlihan in the movie “Dodgeball.” Marianne Faithfull makes an appearance as Maria Teresa in the film. Molly Shannon is barely noticeable within the movie as Aunt Victoire.

In the course of watching this movie, my heart went out to the girl who was married at 15, became queen at 19 and a legend throughout history the day she died at the age of 37. There are many moments in the movie where you can’t help but feel sorry for her. For example, her and her husband Louis XVI, played by Jason Schwartzman, underwent the humiliation of an audience containing the High Court watching them get into bed on their wedding night. Not to mention, their bed was blessed by an archbishop. The kicker here is after seven years of him rejecting her they consummated the marriage and conceived a daughter.

As evidenced by the film, Marie Antoinette was one of the first victims of bad PR, much like Paris Hilton is to our generation with her lavish lifestyle and extremely public love life. Her parties always went to the wee hours of the morning and often did not include the presence of her husband. She had a few scandalous affairs with men in court and dealt with rumors of lesbianism although she never acknowledged anything. In the movie, Marie Antoinette’s 18th birthday was so extravagant it was reminiscent of any episode of “My Super Sweet 16” on MTV. She had scores of animals at both palaces and her private village, Le Petit Trianon. “Marie Antoinette” never ceases to surprise from the first shot of a lady tasting the frosting of a cake to the last shot of their demolished bedroom.

With this amazing movie, you can’t help but notice the music. The music is an amazingly simple complement to such a grand film. I could not help but smile when I heard “I Want Candy,” by Bow Wow Wow come on. Some of the other heavy hitters on the soundtrack are The Cure, New Order and Siouxsie and the Banshees. These and a few other groups better known to our generation pop up such as The Strokes, Aphex Twin and Gang of Four. I definitely recommend expanding your musical horizons and picking up the soundtrack because the movie just is not enough alone.