The other day I recorded Marie Antoinette on the good ol' DVR because I'd heard it was a good movie and I get a kick out of seeing all the costumes from period movies like this.
Unfortunately the opulent clothing was pretty much all that was excellent. Kirsten Dunst was excellent but the movie itself was just okay and kind of slow. If hubby had been home he'd have demanded we watch something else or he'd have fallen asleep. A lot of repetitive scenes...how many times do we need to see them eating a meal?
However I do love the story of Marie Antoinette and have always felt a lot of pity for her, despite her reputation as a selfish airhead who wasted France's finances. I think she got a bad rap and was a victim of bad timing.
Married off at the age of 14 she did her duty bringing the Austrian and French countries together in marriage. I can't imagine being married so young and expecting to start producing heirs - which was hard since their marriage was rumored not to be consummated for quite some time.
The pressure of being a young future queen was compounded by a mother who chastised her for not being pretty, lacking talent, and being unable to entice her husband to bed. In diversion she turned to expensive hobbies - shopping, gambling, and parties. I cannot blame her. Rejection from a husband, catty back stabbing from the ladies of the court, and all around pressure of being queen - who wouldn't seek relief?
The movie goes through most of her life, touching on one affair though she was rumored to have many, only in brief snippets. It seemed very shallow and did not truly explore the complex life and times in which she lived.
It seems the press was hardly kinder then than it is today with rumors and cruel stories of the Queen's excesses - though sometimes based on partial truths they were almost always significantly exaggerated or outright false.
Marie Antoinette's story is fascinating and tragic. While being queen in my fantasies is fun, the real thing doesn't seem nearly as divine.