Taglines: At 15 she became a bride. At 19 she became a queen. By 20 she was a legend.
“All eyes will be on you,” says the Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa to her youngest daughter Marie Antoinette. The film, marketed for a teen audience, is an impressionistic retelling of Marie Antoinette’s life as a young queen in the opulent and eccentric court at Versailles. The film focuses on Marie Antoinette, as she matures from a teenage bride to a young woman and eventual queen of France.
Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Kirsten Dunst. It is based on the life of Queen Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. It was released in the United States on October 20, 2006, by Columbia Pictures.
Kirsten Dunst portrays the young Austrian princess, who, as a teenager, becomes Queen of France. Jason Schwartzman portrays her indifferent husband Louis XVI. Other members of the ensemble, portraying various members of the elitist court of Versailles include Rip Torn (in the role of King Louis XV), Judy Davis (as the Comtesse de Noailles), Steve Coogan (as Mercy), Asia Argento (playing the Comtesse du Barry), Marianne Faithful (Maria-Teresa), Aurore Clement (Duchesse de Chartres), Molly Shannon (Aunt Victoire) and Shirley Henderson (Aunt Sophie).
Often maligned, passionately debated and ultimately a misunderstood young woman, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), through Coppola’s vision, emerges neither as staid historical villain nor divine idol — but as a confused and lonely teenage outsider thrust against her will into a decadent and scandal-plagued world on the eve of disaster.
Oscar winner Sofia Coppola brings to the screen a fresh interpretation of the life of France’s legendary teenage queen Marie Antoinette. Betrothed to King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), the naïve Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) at the age of 14, she is thrown into the opulent French court which is steeped in conspiracy and scandal. Alone, without guidance, and adrift in a dangerous world, the young Marie Antoinette rebels against the isolated atmosphere at Versailles and, in the process, becomes France’s most misunderstood monarch.
Marie Antoinette is merely a pawn in an arranged marriage meant to solidify the harmony between two nations. Her teenage husband, the Dauphin Louis (Jason Schwartzman), is heir to the French throne. But Marie Antoinette is ill prepared to be the kind of ruler for whom the French populace yearns. Beneath her finery, she’s a sheltered, frightened and confused young woman, surrounded by vicious detractors, insincere flatterers, puppet masters and gossips. Trapped by the conventions of her station in life, Marie Antoinette must find a way to fit into the complex and treacherous world of Versailles.
Adding to her woes is the indifference of her new husband, Louis. Their marriage goes unconsummated for an astonishing seven years. The awkward future king proves to be a disaster as a lover, sparking grave concerns (and relentless gossip) that Marie Antoinette will never produce an heir.
Overwhelmed and distraught, Marie Antoinette seeks refuge in the decadence of the French aristocracy and in a secret love affair with the alluring Swedish Count Fersen (Jamie Dornan). Her indiscretions are soon the talk of France.
Whether she is being idealized for her impeccable style or vilified for being unforgivably out of touch with her subjects, reaction to Marie Antoinette is always extreme. Yet, slowly, as she matures, she begins to find her way as a wife, mother and Queen — only to be tragically swept up in a bloody revolution that alters France forever.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Molly Shannon, Judy Davis, Steve Coogan, Asia Argento, Marianne Faithful, Aurore Clement, Shirley Henderson
Screenplay by: Sofia Coppola
Production Design by: K.K. Barrett
Cinematography by: Lance Acord
Film Editing by: Sarah Flack
Costume Design by: Manolo Blahnik, Milena Canonero
Set Decoration by: Véronique Melery
Art Direction by: Pierre Duboisberranger, Anne Seibel
Music by: Dustin O’Halloran
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, innuendo.
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 20, 2006