Sofia Coppola’s movies are open and sparse, focusing on the things unsaid and the moments in between the momentous. It’s almost as fascinating to see what effect this sparseness and openness has on the audience; Coppola’s films end up being as much about what the viewer brings to the experience as what’s going on up onscreen. Her films divide – there are those who think that Lost in Translation is a masterpiece and some who just don’t understand how people can sit through it. Marie Antoinette, her take on the French queen who lost her head in the French Revolution, has already shaped up to be twice as divisive as her last.
As the film opens Marie Antoinette is the youngest princess – and the last sibling left at home – in the royal palace in Austria. She is married off to Louis XVI in an attempt to secure peace with France, and the young girl is shipped off suddenly. At the border she is forced to strip naked and get rid of everything connecting her with her old life, including her tiny pet dog. The giggly 15 year old girl is thrust completely into the complex and bizarre maelstrom that is life at the court of Versailles.