THE TOP TEN: #7: Marie Antoinette
The sensory delights of Marie Antoinette may appeal to our most basic desires, but they are not to be underestimated. What Sofia Coppola has created in this delicious confection is a mental recreation of what it would have been like to be the infamous queen, or at the very least what it would feel like if a 21st Century American girl (like, say, Kirsten Dunst) found herself living in the Palace of Versailles at the end of the 1700s. The easiest complaint to level at Marie Antoinette is that it lacks historical accuracy, but Coppola is not trying to recite a history lesson- read a book, for gods sake. What Coppola does so wonderfully in Marie Antoinette is focus intently on all the qualities that film is designed for- the popping '80s soundtrack, the flashing montages of shoes, and cake, and gambling, the ravishing pastels colours of a dazzling array of desserts. Marie Antoinette is a feast for the eyes, the ears, and god help me if it didn't get my taste buds salivating as well. But Marie Antoinette is not a Kirsten Dunst teenage film transplanted into the 18th Century. Coppola may play dodgeball with the facts but the script is superbly tailored so that, just as the world of the queen herself came knocking on her ornamental door, life comes crashing down around this fictional interpretation too, a warning that perhaps all this confection is too much distraction. Even if it does taste fantastic.