Our wrap-up recap of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette follows, sadly, the wrap-up of Marie’s life. We compare and contrast the movie to reality, and try to untangle the movie’s timeline adjustments.
When we last left Marie, the cool kids were sneaking back into Versailles after an all-night party only to learn that the king was ill with smallpox. Marie and Louis had yet to consummate their marriage and the spend-a-thon of the monarchy was going full steam ahead while political unrest bubbled up in the lower classes.
So heat up some water and make yourself a cup of blooming Jasmine Tea like Marie serves to her brother, the Emperor (so I guess it’s good enough for us common folk) and start playing the music from the opera, Les Deux Chasseurs et la Laitière that she performs (and fakes sweeping) and let’s revisit some moments of this episode!
The king is on his death bed, and Du Barry is sent out out of the picture in the most fabulous cape!
The king is dead, long live the king…whose first statement is a reassuring,”We are too young to reign!”
We need to fix this baby problem…a king, an emperor, and an elephant have a sex talk.
The talk worked…well, the talk and the brown chickens and brown cows.
Before we dive back into an historical fiction series we thought we would recap one of our favorite movies, Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst and directed by Sofia Coppola. Made in 2006, it’s now (in March of 2018) on Netflix. *hugs Netflix* Because we seem to double the length of the original media in our recaps, and this is a two hour movie, we decided that a four hour podcast really needed to be broken into two episodes.
14 year-old Maria Antonia is married off to the Dauphin of France and sent from her native Austria to the epicenter of French luxury, political intrigue and a whole lotta nobles ignoring the realities of their country: Versailles.
Au revoir, Maria Antonia…
…Bonjour Marie Antoinette
(For more details on the actual wedding journey, From Vienna to Versailles, from Royal Central. Part One and Part Two.)
Marie gets to know her new family…
Aunt Mary Catherine Gallagher and Aunt Jude/Moaning Myrtle
…and meets the man she proxy married weeks before, Louis Auguste, the Dauphin of France.
.Louis, the Husband, not to be confused with Louis the King or Louis, or any other Louis- there are many.
Marie gets to show off her dancing skills, her charm and her adjustment to the peculiar and unique rules of Versailles. So. Many. Rules.
Speaking of so many rules, check out this Baroque dancing!
But anyone can dance WITH music, how about without it? Here’s how they did it for the movie Call Me By Your Name.
Also, speaking of rules: Marie and Louis’ marriage is not official until they consummate it. One of the Versailles protocols in play is a wedding night, beddy-bye ceremony, with an audience. The couple gets a blessing and everyone gets ready to catch some heirs tout suite. But IT didn’t happen for our movie couple on their wedding night because it didn’t happen in real life for a very long time. This gives us our major plot point of the a sizable chunk of this movie: when are they going to have sex and why aren’t they?
The putting to bed ceremony.
In addition to the actors, Versailles and the costumes are stars of this movie.
Dresses like this are why this won an Oscar for costuming.
If you want to play along with What Kind Of Dress is That? Here is a lovely primer from American Duchess.
We follow Marie using retail therapy to ease her woes, which –spoiler alert–is at the root of her biggest life problem later.
Manolo Blahnik created hundreds of pairs of shoes for this movie…not the Converse, though.
We end this episode just after Marie meets Adam Ant…er, Axel Von Fersen, the only man cool enough to get away with not wearing a mask to a masked ball.
Roger Ebert reviewed this back in the day, and he liked it as much as we do (or the other way around since he covered it first. Here’s what he had to say: ROGER EBERT 4-STAR REVIEW
If you haven’t given a listen to our coverage of the real life of Marie Antoinette, you might want to do that. That, also, is a two-parter. Part One and Part Two
The Four Tendencies that we talked about (Princess Lamballe is a total Upholder) are from Gretchen Rubin. Her podcast is Happier and here’s the link to her Four Tendencies Quiz.
You really have to listen to the episode to know why we’re closing with this, but we must.
(Parent warning: all of the Gustave Klimt paintings in this video do have nudity in them!)
Photo Credit: via Netflix; Stills: The History Chicks
The History Chicks Podcast
Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider: Two women. Half the population. Several thousand years of history. About an hour.