Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
Like her contemporary Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola's movies are beginning to seem alike, no matter how much she changes the setting. Here's another story of an intelligent, high-spirited young woman bored by the men in her life and trapped in a luxurious, comfortable, and totally lifeless environment. Pity she doesn't have a filmmaking career to work out her upper-class demons like Coppola does.
I kid. Really, I like all of Coppola's innovations here, from focusing so closely on life in Versailles that we understand Marie-Antoinette's royal perspective, to slipping in modern music and props that breathe new life into an aging story. It's a gorgeous movie, set in a world of opulence unequalled by any in our imaginaton; had this been filmed on sets instead of the real palace, they would have won an Oscar. And yet there's a familiarity to it, a lack of excitement, perhaps partly due to how many years Coppola spent preparing this movie before the cameras rolled. It's a good movie with elements of greatness.