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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Iffy, but not atypical for privileged, insulated royals in the 18th century. The royals leave their unseen subjects to suffer poverty (this leads to the revolution); members of the Royal court gossip, sometimes cruelly; card-playing and gambling; adultery; constant partying.
Violence & Scariness
References to offscreen violence: the American Revolutionary War (which France helps fund), and the French Revolution, which takes the form of a "mob" arriving at the palace with pitchforks and hoes; Marie's mother and an infant die offscreen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Corsets and dramatically shaped gowns show cleavage; Marie appears naked (from front with arms over chest, from the back) in scenes where others dress her; Marie and Louis XVI appear in bed, worrying about not having sex/producing heirs and then, very briefly, having sex (not graphic); Marie's affair with a soldier appears in a sunny, sweet montage, with kissing, some lovemaking (with brief nudity); the King's mistress appears "sexed up" (ample bosom visible) and in a sexual situation with the king (having fun in bed, contrasted with Marie); references to "bosom," Louis XVI's "unconsummated marriage," the "royal bush," and "harlot." Lots of talk of Marie needing to conceive.
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Sexual slang ("bush," etc.).
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Products & Purchases
Marie is very materialistic; she shops constantly for clothes and shoes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking of expensive wine and champagne; in one scene, partiers snort powder; another shows partiers passing a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a punk-rock version of history. While teens may enjoy the music, the movie's relatively slow pace might end up turning some of them off. For those of us who remember our history, she does indeed get beheaded, but it doesn't take place during the movie. There are a few scenes in which Marie appears naked (shown from the back or with her arms over her chest), but not in a titillating way, and there's some sexual allusion when a doctor asks Louis whether his body is "responsive." A couple of sex scenes show brief skin, the king's mistress is buxom and breathy, and there are a couple of birth scenes. This is French history, so naturally there's champagne and wine. In one scene, drugs are snorted and -- as is becoming all too usual in PG-13 movies -- there's smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A thoughtful, sometimes-playful retelling of the story of Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola's film focuses on the doomed queen's adolescence. The punkish titles and soundtrack and the luscious pastel color palette depict the girl queen as a product of her times, living up to official expectations while also rebelling in whatever small ways she can manage.
Less concerned with plot than with context, the film reveals Marie's changing sensibility in gloriously detailed images and glances as she gains confidence and poise, ultimately being crowned queen at 19. Increasingly troubled by her "bad press", Marie is eventually undone by history. The film alludes only briefly to the French Revolution and the fall of Versailles. Omitting both Louis' and Marie's beheadings, the movie leaves her looking slightly sad as she departs from the palace. She is, as ever, resigned to her role as the public face of a monarchy bound to fall amid demands for republican government.
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Our Editors Recommend
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