The "Marie Antoinette" premiere is happening as we speak on the Cannes Cam; meanwhile, early word is mixed (when is it not?) regarding Sofia Coppola‘s latest effort. Jeffrey Wells notes that the crowd booed, and suggests that "This will certainly rank as a stain upon Coppola’s reputation, as she has arguably made the shallowest and dullest historical biopic of all time."
At the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt is far more generous to the film, and does point out that:
This is not a portrait, even though it is based on Antonia Fraser’s biography "Marie Antoinette: The Journey," that will play well in France. Here she is a favorite villainess. Nor will the film be an easy sell in other territories, where Coppola’s contemporary sensibilities and dialogue may feel anachronistic. The film certainly is far afield from her popular "Lost in Translation" even though both films concern characters that suffer anxiety and ennui from cultural dislocation.
HR‘s Anne Thompson at the Risky Biz blog calls it "a delightful if slightly guilty pleasure for me… [It] is a little light on its feet. Any critic demanding intellectual content will wind up hungry for nourishment. I suspect that this will play best for young women. My 16-year-old daughter will LOVE it."
At Nerve, Mike D’Angelo writes that
Coppola’s basic idea here is at once simple and remarkably poignant: She makes us feel the bewilderment and alienation of a young girl ejected from the world she’s always known and thrust into a position of great power and stifling regiment by taking bubbly, vivacious Kirsten Dunst — playing more or less the same wholly contemporary mall denizen we’ve seen in films like "Bring It On" and "Elizabethtown" — and trapping her in a stately historical drama. The result is something like "The Princess Diaries" as it might have been conceived by…well, by Sofia Coppola.
He ultimately likes the film, while acknowledging its flaws, but also notes that "I suspect that it may turn out to be as divisive as ‘Southland Tales,’ albeit in a different way — instead of inspiring 95% loathing and 5% euphoria, ‘Marie Antoinette’ may split audiences evenly between ‘pretty good’ and ‘pretty lame.’ "
Todd McCarthy at Variety sums the film up as fluffy eye-candy, while at Reuters, Mike Collett-White details the unfriendly reactions of the French press to the film. And at the LA Times, Kenneth Turan interviews Coppola.
+ Blood of a Lady (Hollywood Elsewhere)
+ Marie Antoinette (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Borad, Babel, Marie Antoinette at Cannes (Rizky Biz)
+ Let them totally eat cake (Nerve)
+ Marie Antoinette (Variety)
+ Cool French reaction to Sofia Coppola’s "Antoinette" (Reuters)
+ Royal lineage (LA Times)