'Marie Antoinette' - a Quotational Reference Guide

sofia coppola and kirsten dunst

“I know it’s not for everyone. It has been mixed. People either seem to get really get into it or not like it. But I’d rather make something that has people talking and different opinions rather than just a mediocre response.” – Sofia Coppola

In the five months since a handful of boos (“four people…Maybe it was six” claims the director) rained down at the premiere at Cannes, it seems as if Sofia and team Antoinette has spent as much time justifying, as promoting a biopic not necessarily concerned with, or constrained by historical perspective. Essentially, those who prefer their style/substance ratio skewed in favor of the former will find plenty to love. The other camp will find true schadenfreude in the knowledge that there is a line forming for critics in contempt of a vision that runs precariously parallel to the director’s own golden-spooned upbringing. Something for everyone – rather than solely summarizing the polarized reviews (see Metacritic), we offer you the critics, director, and cast in quotes:

The swooning apologists

“To say that this movie is historically irresponsible or politically suspect is both to state the obvious and to miss the point…a thoroughly modern confection, blending insouciance and sophistication, heartfelt longing and self-conscious posing with the guileless self-assurance of a great pop song. What to do for pleasure? Go see this movie, for starters” – The New York Times

“You get a clever, visually gorgeous theme that’s both emblematic of an unfathomable life and somehow weirdly familiar…a startlingly original and beautiful pop reverie that comes very close to being transcendent. – Los Angeles Times

“The work of a mature filmmaker who has identified and developed a new cinematic vocabulary to describe a new breed of post-post-post-feminist woman. And that contemporary creature is also of the artist’s own invention.” – Entertainment Weekly

The frothing dissenters

“It is not enough to merely hate Marie-Antoinette. One needs to organize against it, storm its gates, demand that certain parties lose their heads.” – Hollywood Elsewhere

“Historians can’t say for certain if Marie…actually said “Let them eat cake.’…I kept picturing Sofia Coppola offering up a big plate of icing — not even cake — for audiences: Pink, creamy costumes and music and sumptuous visuals with nothing under it to give the sugar-shock-esque, immediate buzz of the movie any real weight.” – Cinematical

“Like licorice, Marie Antoinette is a confection you either love or hate, and both affects seem tied to your feeling about the director herself and her apparent identification with Louis XVI’s bride. For my part, I can definitely say that I love licorice and hate Marie Antoinette. But I’m still wrestling with the enigma of Sofia Coppola.” – Slate

A director, in steadfast defense

On the boo-birds at Cannes – “It’s very French…there was a standing ovation, too. I think the booing was not really that loud. It was picked upon and reported because, you know, it’s a better story than a standing ovation.”

“Well, um, when I was growing up, it was Godard, Truffaut, the French New Wave. The style was so cool to me.”

So, your own aesthetic is essentially about style rather than, say, story or drama?

Um, I guess. I mean, I’ve always been drawn to individuals really, people with their own distinctive but identifiable style that no one else has. That’s all I try to do, find my own distinctive way of doing things.” – Sofia Coppola, The Guardian

On keeping the much-discussed pink Converse sneakers, shot by brother Roman Coppola (second unit director) as a joke, in the film: “We decided to leave it in, just, you know, to have a playful element – it’s a teenage world…and uh, for fun…because I could. – Video, NYFF press conference

Schwartzman – happy to be working

“I only had about 13 lines in the whole movie, and it got to the point where I’d be like. ‘Oh, fuck! I can’t do it!’ I swear I couldn’t have done it all without the costumes. Because Sofia told me not to use an accent, so I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m just going to be me, and I’m going to look stupid. But you put on the costumes and you just transform – the clothes totally change the way you hold yourself.” – Jason Schwartzman, Nylon Magazine (print only), Oct 06′

The infinitely quotable star – Kirsten Dunst

“For me, it became a very sensory experience because there weren’t a lot of words, so I concentrated on things like the touch of fabric, or the taste of a cookie.” – Nylon

“It’s kind of like a history of feelings rather than a history of facts” – Hollywood.com

“I’m not going to sound like a crazy woman. I have no idea. There are moments when you’re like, ‘I hope she’s okay with me playing her.’…I think it all became about like a little kid would. ‘I want to play with this; I want to watch this movie. Now I want to eat sugar.’ That was kind of my way of navigating and making her a sympathetic person.” – About.com

“Sofia lets things breathe. I like the fact that there wasn’t a lot of dialogue, and not so much explaining things all the time. I like working like that. Now I’m reading scripts and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, they talk so much!”’ – Entertainment Weekly

Marie Antoinette opens today

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Posted by Ted Zee on October 20th 2006 | Home Page | 5 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

5 Responses

  1. i am addicted to marie antonette..tnx sofia Says:

    i am addiceted to marie antonette..tnx sofia

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