Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Coppola and Luhrman

This will be a sort of review, and a sort of venting post. It's a subject I feel rather strongly about, strangely enough, and after trying in vain to explain it to a friend, I thought I'd have a go here. I recently watched the movie "Marie Antoinette", directed by Sofia Coppola (of recent "The Bling Ring" fame). It was a movie with awkward blackouts and strange shots, and entire scenes with no dialogue at all. It was light on action and heavy on beautiful sets, and somehow, the picture was altogether very sad.

Even so, I think that overall I liked it, and this is why: the characters were vapid and greedy, but you saw their vulnerabilities and understood them. Hollywood characters are so often black and white, good and evil, and people in real life are not that way. Marie Antoinette spent France away, but you understood what it was like to be in her high-heeled, fur-lined shoes. The entire picture is overwhelmingly sad, with the lives that can only be describe as "pomp an circumstance". Even so, the last image is a single room inside of Versailles, wrecked almost beyond recognition, and you think that maybe Marie and her husband were people after all.

No one could glorify them into heroes, and Coppola didn't even try it. The characters were deeply flawed, but this made them seem real. It reminded me, honestly, of Baz Luhrman's recent release "The Great Gatsby". No one will say that Daisy or Nick or Tom or even Gatsby are good, but they also aren't evil.

So while the beautiful costumes and sets of "Marie Antoinette" didn't overshadow the rough edits, the beautifully and realistically woven characters certainly did.

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