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Sunday, 27 February 2011

I LOVE Marie Antoinette

I am a huge lover of costume and cinematography and so when watching Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst I immediately fell in love to a point where I am now obsessed!!! It was from everything from the colour palettes used, the costume and of course the spectacular scenery that stole my heart and lit my imagination.  
You can find the trailer here; Marie Antoinette trailer

Being directed by Sofia Coppola and with a tagline of 'The Party that started a revolution' implies a film to have demand and majesty from the opening credits and this film did not disappoint. 
The basic plot is a retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles. Although it sounds like it should be a living hell to watch, in fact it was a dream as Coppola based it on the book Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser.

Antonia Fraser who told the young Queen's story with humour and made her more human than historical texts make her out to be... It's also far sexier :)

Kirsten Dunst's porcelain skin tone against the pastels and sumptuous materials throughout the film gives it a fantasy quality that I simply ADORE. The costumes also evolve as Marie Antoinette ages and becomes queen making each scene spectacular in its detail. These qualities won the film 2006 Oscar for Best Costume Design which it whole heartedly deserved. 
A bit about the Costume; Milen Canonero and six assistant designers worked on creating the gowns, hats, menswear and prop costumes for the film. Literally hundreds of wigs and hair pieces were also created in order to really capture the essence of the time period and they ended up being pieces of art in themselves.

At the start of pre-production, Coppola handed Canonero a box of pastel-coloured macaroons from the Laduree pastry house. "She told me, 'These are the colours I love'," recalls Canonero. "I used them as a palette. Sofia was clear about the colouration, but left the rest to me. We squeezed the essence of the period, without reproducing it. Even if you think you know a lot about it," she argues, "you always have to look for a new angle. I simplified the very heavy look of the 18th century. I wanted it to be believable, but more stylized.
The biggest challenge facing Canonero was the sheer volume of costumes involved in staging three operas (Marie Antoinette was a keen and accomplished amateur performer) her wedding to the Dauphin, his coronation as Louis XVI, plus gambling and party scenes. "To dress and undress so many people is incredibly challenging. It's rare to make a movie these days that spans 20 years of a very grand life."
To add to the already vast amount of glamour Sofia Coppola had Spanish footwear designer Manolo Blahnik create hundreds of specially made shoes for the film which seems to match deserts Dunst eats, probably symbolizing the excessive nature that inevitably turned the french public against the young queen. .
 The over indulgence in pure unadulterated glamour was also what attracted Vogue and they made Marie Antoinette their cover and feature in 2006. The photography was by non other than Annie Leibovitz (another love of mine)!!!! 
I NEED THIS DRESS!!!! I literally could wear it every day of my life and the way it contrasts with the tiled floor and shadows is pure perfection :)

Overall as you can tell (and I did warn you) I am obsessed with this film. It was a brilliant watch especially if you have an interest in costume, history and general artistry. Although it is the fantasy of it all is what I adore I now have a new interest in french historical regalia and have ordered my copy of 'Marie Antoinette' by Antonia Fraser to read up on what inspired the film. So, off to a land of royal parties and a beheading me thinks :)


Much Love xxx

Basic Information and images taken from http://www.imdb.com, The London Times
and the book 'Marie Antoinette'by Antonia Fraser (to be reviewed here at a later date.)

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