Time Out says
The film that most comes to mind when wondering where Coppola went wrong with this grand folly of style over substance is Gus Van Sant’s ‘Last Days’. Both films share the tragedy of a youngster caged by a public role, a bold lack of interest in facts and exposition and a reliance on silence and mood. But while ‘Last Days’ offered an implied and assured understanding of its hero, neither Coppola nor Dunst demonstrates such intelligence in their consideration of Marie Antoinette. Coppola’s treatment of the dauphin’s inability to consummate his marriage – the elephant in the bedroom – verges on the comedic, so denying any real pain: the one scene in which we witness Antoinette break down in tears behind closed doors is followed by a negating and brash montage of classy shoes and pretty cakes. Moments such as these confirm that Coppola is evading the issue of biography and indulging instead in the trappings of a social scene. The music might be a hoot (Gang of Four, New Order, Bow Wow Wow), but the soundtrack – like the distracting costumes, cakes and production design – does everything to stress the youthful decadence of the French court and nothing to throw any light on the woman who gives the film its name. All of which is hip – but never history.
Cast and crew