Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'll take Historical Ladies for 200,Alex!

One of the big fall releases is Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette,which stars Kristen Dunst and Jason Schwartzman as the dearly not-beloved beheaded couple. Why this movie intrigues me,it's hard to say. I'm not a big Sofia Coppola fan(the only artistic enterprise I've seen of hers was her performance in Godfather III)and while both Dunst and Schwartzman are fine actors,they're really not on my Motive to Must
See a film in theaters. Oddly enough,it's the historical part that's grabbing me.

I'm more of an anglophile when it comes to historical fiction-some of my favorites
include Forever Amber,Thru A Glass Darkly and The Other Boleyn Girl. One year at a BEA convention,I grabbed a galley of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson,thinking"Hey,why not? Might be good for a laugh." It was more than good,I was addicted to that book for days. HDOMA is Erickson's first novel(she's written several biographies,including one about Antoinette)and she made this insular world that Marie lived in come alive and sparkle at times.

It's been noted than Marie recieved the short end of the stick in the annals of history,what with the "let them eat cake" qoute being falsely attributed to her and that she was a former Austrian princess made it even easier to paint her as this elitest airhead who fiddled while Rome burned,so to speak. However,it turns out that she was more of a Marilyn Monroe than a Paris Hilton-a woman trapped by her beauty and social position that lead her to a tragic end.

Another MA novel is due out soon,this one by Sena Jeter Naslund. Naslund's great with period piece writing(if you haven't read Ahab's Wife,you MUST at all costs!)and with the Coppola film due out around the same time,the timing is perfect for some cross promotion. The new book and film are not related to one another(except by subject)but I will be reviewing Abundance for this blog and hopefully,the movie as well.

I'm still not sure why Marie interests me so-is it the history,her misunderstood role as a feminine icon or the great clothes she got to wear? Whatever the case may be,she's definately worth taking some interest in.


Pop Culture Diva said...

I'm actually looking forward to the Marie Antoinette movie. I can't explain it but it looks quirky. I might check out some of these books though.

PJS said...

I will see ANYTHING with Jason Schwartzman in it. Anything. I'd pay full price to attend a screening of him reading the Manhattan phone book.

Anonymous said...

You are so right about Ahab's Wife. What a fantastic novel.

The Marie Antoinette movie isn't going to do it for me. I, too, prefer stories of English royalty. Plus, I just can't get past Kirsten as Marie. K is too modern. Can't see her disappearing into the part.

But maybe that's just mean. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise if you, Lady T, tell me the movie rocks.

lady t said...

Well,if I get a chance to see Marie onscreen,it'll definately get a write-up here(odds are that it might not play anywhere near me but fingers crossed!).

I haven't started the Naslund novel yet but the Erickson book is a page turner so it gets my thumbs up:)

Jake McCafferty said...

Let them eat cake!