My favourite adverts on television are the Miss Dior Cherie ones. The flowers, the Eiffel tower, the bicycle and the balloons all contribute to give 3 minutes of pure unashamedly girly fantasy and the ultimate dreamy escapism.
When I found out that Sofia Coppola directed this- a name I had heard many times- I knew I had to find out more about her. With her dad being the famous directer Francis Ford Coppola and her mum being Eleanor Coppola, a set designer, film really is in her family’s blood as a quick Wikipedia search revealed.
So I invited my film loving friend around and we rented out the DVDs for Marie Antoinette and Lost in Translation to see why people admire her so much.
Having seen countless beautiful stills from Marie Antoinette (I would be prepared to say that 99% of teenage girls' Tumblr blogs contain at least one from it) I had high expectations.
Gowns! Puppies! Cake (especially Macaroons) Champagne! Shoes! French Interiors! Literally all of my favourite things!
But that is all that it turned out to be.
Superficiality with no depth.
There are only so many establishing shots of Versailles and scenes of the 'Skins' parties of the 16th century I can see before I long for a more complex narrative, complete with actual dialogue- it felt like the characters hardly spoke.
The audience gets no real sense of Marie Antoinette as a person. We all know how the film is going to end so we want to feel some kind of sympathy for her; being sent away from home to get married at 14 and then getting executed at 38. But it's hard to feel sympathy for a lady who spent ludicrous amounts of money lavish parties whilst the French people were starving (not that the film was that critical of the Dauphine)
So when the inevitable ending came, with the symbolic last shot being the Queen's private room in ruins, complete with chandelier on the floor and curtains in tatters, me and my friend were disappointed that we felt no sympathy for her.
What I loved however was the soundtrack which featured The Strokes (one of my favourite bands) At first it was odd to have a period drama with this type of music for the backing track but it actually went perfectly with Marie Antoinette's Rock'n'Roll lifestyle.
The mix of modern and classical music was just right but what didn't work so well was one shot with a pair of lilac converse amongst all her other satin heels. Now I'm no historian but I reckon I’m correct in thinking that Chuck All Stars were not around in the 1750's. Very odd.
A classic example of style over substance I grew desperate for the storyline to push on and *GASP* less puppies, macaroons, gowns and shoes. Nope I never thought I'd ever say that in my life either.
Visually stunning and every single frame worthy of a teenage girls Tumblr "reblog" it was beautiful to watch but I expected more from this celebrated film about one of the most famous Queens in history.
Lost in Translation
In comparison to Marie Antoinette you can actually empathise with the relatable ‘lost souls’ in ‘Lost in Translation.’ Bill Murray plays Bob, an aging actor unwillingly agreeing to star in a commercial in Tokyo and its here where he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) who is here because of her photographer husband.
This chance meeting of two strangers out of their depth in this huge city sparks a friendship between the pair.
Sofia Coppola wrote the screen play as well as directed it and it is obvious how she won Best Original Screenplay for it with amazing lines such as:
"I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase. You know, horses... taking pictures of your feet."
I mean hasn't everyone done that cliché? I know I have and that's just one example of how you can really engage with the characters and enter their mindsets of loneliness which link to the smart tag line of the film which is "Everyone wants to be found."
This is a funny and sweet film with touching performances from Murray and Johansson who really put life and soul into Sofia's script.
So now I need to see Sofia Coppola's first film called ‘Virgin Suicides’ which on IMDB has the user recommendation "Sopfia Coppola is a genius" and then her new film ‘Somewhere’ which is out later this year and from the looks of the trailer is going to be a good one (and it has The Strokes again! What a bonus)
Just looking at these two trailers shows her versatility and talent as she can switch between different genres, whilst always giving them her own unique spin.
She is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Beth Ruby xoxo
ps) I have just got home from seeing Inception. MY MIND IS BLOWN. If you haven't already then go and see it now!