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David Poland

By David Poland

Learning From Having Your Nose Shoved In It

Funny how the take on Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is described by Reuters as “Cool French reaction to ‘Antoinette’,” by the AP as “Coppola’s Marie Antoinette earns a few catcalls from French at Cannes,” and by The Telegraph as “French fail to see the funny side of Marie Antoinette
Ya think that blaming The French instead of offering the kind of definitive view the media loves to simplify it all into has something to do with the whiplash on the Da Vinci Code reviews?
At least The TonyOhla has the good taste to take the heat for themselves, as their two takes equal one mixed review.

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14 Responses to “Learning From Having Your Nose Shoved In It”

  1. James Leer says:

    I think it has more to do with “it’s a movie about France.”

  2. prideray says:

    And, too, it’s opening in France right now, its first territory.

  3. RoyBatty says:

    Probably not the best time to start something this esoteric – the 2 hour finale of LOST just started on the East coast.
    Myself, I don’t think the French are the only ones with a cool reaction to a new Sofia Coppola film. LOST IN TRANSLATION was probably the most overrated, over praised, miscast (which planet is Bill Murray supposed to be an action star on again?) bit of a piffle of the last 10 years. Not to mention there are a number of folks who found it mildly racist to boot.
    Wake me when Roman decides to make another film, he seems to have gotten the better artistic genes from Poppa Francis.

  4. mutinyco says:

    It seems to me that the mixed critical reaction represents a situation where the critics were presented with a film that didn’t play to their preconceived notions of what it should be. Most of the negative responses made the point that what made Marie Antoinette an interesting historical figure is her role in the revolution. And this movie eschews that entire episode. Nor does it seem it be interested in a realistic portrayal of the period, which again would counter one’s expectation. It doesn’t even seem to want to be an entirely accurate biopic in the traditional sense.
    The movie’s goal was to use that period and those characters to comment on our current culture — and any culture of riches where its citizens are removed from the realities of the rest of the world. And the ultimate consequences of that. As Tony Scott pointed out. Even Jeff Wells, while not liking it, admitted respect for Sofia’s approach.
    They’ll now have 4 1/2 months to find the critics who “got it” so the correct case can be made what it actually is.

  5. palmtree says:

    It sounds similar to how Chinese people laughed and scoffed at Crouching Tiger because the language was mangled with actors (Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat) who are not native Mandarin speakers. Arguably, the movie wasn’t made for them.
    Sofia shot it at Versailles…which probably raised the expectations of using it an historically accurate way.

  6. anghus says:

    they laughed at Davinci Code at Cannes and look how that turned out.
    I’m not saying that Marie Antionette will do well, but are the ‘snickering French’ and film critics really a gauge of what is popular these days?

  7. David Poland says:

    So you’ve seen the film, mutinyco?

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Couldn’t Coppola have made a movie that was a commentary on modern times _and_ historically faithful at the same time?
    And I don’t get DP’s point: is he saying that because of Da Vinci’s huge gross in the face of bad reviews, that the wire services are compartmentalizing these negative reviews to “the French”? Or just playing another round of smarter-than-thou?

  9. mutinyco says:

    But from a purely observational standpoint I can tell what it is. I didn’t say it was good — cause I can’t be the judge of that. But I did feel — and now Ebert confirms again in his piece — that most people had an expectation of something it wasn’t.
    Which happens all the time.

  10. mutinyco says:

    BTW/ I think Scarghis is funnier sounding than TonyOhla…

  11. Filipe says:

    The funnier thing is it actually together with the Almodovar the best rated fim at the Le Film Fran

  12. David Poland says:

    But alas Mutiny, being disssapointed by not getting the joke doesn’t make it good, as you acknowledge. Might be. But my guess is that there will be a critic’s cult for the film a la Virgin Suicides, which is really what it is sounding like.
    Scarghis is funnier, but sounds mean.
    And JMc – I am saying that American writers don’t like teh film any more than the French, overall, but that by making it a french booing thing, they can move off of the position if the concensus in the US turns out to be positive. This, of course, leaves out certain writers who are above this, such as Roger E and Scarghis.

  13. Me says:

    I wasn’t really all that interested either way in this movie until all this crap came up. Now I’m really curious to see for myself.
    And I’ll be going in understanding the movie Copolla wanted to make, not the one that includes Dunst getting her head chopped off (though, that probably would be the one I’d go in wanting to see).
    Can’t be any worse than going to see the Che movie, and then not seeing him kill anyone.

  14. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Yeah, it does seem that people are reviewing under the context of what they thought it should’ve been – a more tradition historical biopic. But what it appears it really is (and what I’ve always suspected Sofia would make it as) a teenager movie where a young attractive woman gets a lot of money… except in this case she’s the Queen of France and she’s in the 1700s.
    But, then again, I haven’t seen it. I can’t wait though.

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