Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Marie Antoinette and Sophia Coppola

so i just saw Sophia Coppola's new movie Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst. beautiful movie especially since it was at Versailles which created a lot of buzz since Versailles is a museum and it's so difficult to get permissions to do anything there like photo shoots let alone a movie!

but somehow Sophia pulled it off. i'm glad i waited for the dvd since the movie wasn't my style. there's amazing cinematography but there are a lot of long pauses which is very french or asian that i can fast forward through if i'm not in the mood (which i wasn't). i admired how marie antoinette was done. it was filmed with modern dialogue (not in a stuffy brit accent, subtitles, etc.). she was also portrayed differently from her historical typecast of the hedonistic queen infamously misquoted as saying "let them eat cake".
that reminds me that i had the champagne, or rather, the sparkling wine of sophia's namesake. it's produced by the francis ford coppola winery which i think became niebaum-coppola winery but it was renamed last year to rubicon estate winery. maybe they renamed it after the san francisco restaurant rubicon that Francis Ford Coppola owns with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro because of the confusion with Coppola's other business ventures. or maybe because they bought more land on the windery? if you haven't been to the winery, it's one of the best. you have to pay for the tasting, but $25 gets you a flight of 5 estate wines, a tour (including some film memorabilia from Apocalypse Now and The Godfather). anyway, the sparkling wine, sophia blanc de blancs was pretty good.

it was very girly, packaged in a rose-tinted bag tied with ribbon. the sparkling wine itself was very feminine and delicate, mainly pinot blanc but muscat and sauvignon blanc blended as well. it tasted of melons, citrus and honey, ooh i wonder how it would have tasted with the asian pear!

and what's weirder is that they offer the champagne in these little pink cans. a 4-pack goes for $15. yeah, they're a bit lower in alcohol but does it have to appeal to bubble gum smacking teenaged girls? is this supposed to be the new wine cooler? or the refined version of sparks, that disgustingly orange beer with caffeine, taurine and ginseng. huh? exactly.

the Coppolas are interesting. i didn't know Sophia was married to Spike Jonze of mtv's Jackass and fatboy slim's "Praise You" fame. he's actually in it, jumping about with a beard. he's best known for his music videos like weezer's "Buddy Holly" but also did some decent movies like Being John Malkovich. Sophia divorced Jonze in the 2003 and Giovanni Ribisi's character in Lost in Translation was allegedly based on Jonze. Jonze eventually moved on to Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. i guess he's into quirky brunettes.

and how Francis Ford Coppola is Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwartzman's (louis the 16th in Marie Antoinette, Rushmore, I Heart Huckabees) uncle. yeah, Jason's mom is Talia Shire, the wife of Rocky Balboa and also Connie Corleone, the sister of Don Corleone in the Godfather movies. can you believe Jason was also the drummer for Phantom Planet, the one-hit wonder band that did the theme song for the tv show the OC? here he is playing "california" on Letterman. pretty amazing family, huh? sure they have talent, but it goes to show how showbiz is all about connections as well.

anyhoo, back to the dvd. it's got some nice extras. 2 deleted scenes, english & french subtitles and language, making of, two M.A. trailers, and a pretty funny clip of Schwartzman doing a mtv Cribs of Versailles. it's also got 5 previews as a feature instead of playing them in the beginning like some annoying dvd's do. it's got the new Spider Man 3 which Kirsten is starring in again, Premonition with Sandra Bullock and that guy from Nip/Tuck.
The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, & Jack Black. Stranger than Fiction, which looks really good with Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson but seemed to have gone out of the theaters fairly quickly. Dreamland, an indie film i've never heard of. and an ad for the soundtrack which was actually pretty good. so...quirky but that seems sophia's style. the 2-disc soundtrack includes bands i haven't heard since the early 90's with Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Strokes, New Order, Bow Wow Wow, Adam & the Ants, Air, Aphex Twin, Gang of Four and the Cure.
unfortunately the movie overall wasn't very good except for the cinematography and costumes. sophia reportedly was working on this before Lost in Translation which was just a small project set in japan to get her mind off of Marie Antoinette and resulted in a pretty successful movie.

Marie Antoinette, however, didn't dig enough for me and left out too much, especially the Affair of the Necklace which was a huge contribution to Marie's downfall and "bad PR". and it was never proven that she was having an affair with Count von Fersen (played by Keira Knightly's ex, Jamie Dornan--also linked to Kate Moss between her Pete Doherty relapses).