Monday, February 3, 2014

Six Films to Satisfy Your Marie Antoinette Fix

Marie Antoinette's life is a treasure trove for fiction--and from silent films to old Hollywood epics, there has been nearly no end to cinematic portrayals of Marie Antoinette and her story. The following are six films available in English or with official English subtitles that are sure to satisfy your cravings for Marie Antoinette on screen.

Marie Antoinette (2006) 

Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is an intimate, pop-culture take on Marie Antoinette that has become inseparable with her modern image. Pop music, a guest appearance by Converse shoes and casual dialogue give the 'teenage queen' a fresh spin.


Marie Antoinette (1938)  

W.S. Van Dyke's Marie Antoinette is a classic example of Old Hollywood meeting history. Elaborate gowns, sweeping history and a fine dramatic performance by Norma Shearer in the title role make it essential watching.

Availability: Warner Archive

 The Affair of the Necklace (2001) 

Charles Shyer's The Affair of the Necklace tells a fictionalized version of the infamous 'Diamond Necklace Scandal,' placing Jeanne de la Motte in the role of tragic, wronged heroine. Although the film suffers from this decision, Joely Richardson turns in a compelling performance in her brief scenes as Marie Antoinette.


 Farewell, My Queen (2012)

Benoit Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen is a French-language adaptation of a novel by the same name, which centers around the relationship between Marie Antoinette and her court reader. The intimate, gritty portrayal of the decaying French court make the film a compelling watch.


 La Marseillaise (1938)

Jean Renoir's La Marseillaise is an epic sweeping film which threads the many stories of the French Revolution using the points of view of the many people whose lives were impacted by the revolution. 

Rose of Versailles (1979)  

(All right, technically not a film--but still recommended!) The Rose of Versailles, based on a manga by Riyoko Ikeda, tells the story of Oscar de Jarjayes, a girl who has been raised as man by her father and finds herself intertwined in the court of Marie Antoinette and the eventual revolution.

Availability: RightStuf

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