Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Movie Review: Marie Antoinette **

At least I didn't pay any money for this turkey, just grabbed it because I had a free rental coming and had read the book it was allegedly based on. (If I were Antonia Fraser I would sue the people who made this for libel.) Yes, as a lot of people have said, the costumes and sets were gorgeous (that's what the second star is for), but over one half of the movie was essentially saying, "Boy - those French aristocrats sure knew how to party!" Also, there was virtually no inkling anywhere that there was a world outside Versailles until all of a sudden this mob shows up with torches and pitchforks. Considering how little a lot of people know about history, I'm sure that a lot of them were scratching their heads and saying to each other, "Gee - why are those people so mad?" (Oh, someone at some point does say that the people have no bread, at which point Marie Antoinette utters her most famous non-quote, "Let them eat cake.")

If the makers of this movie had actually read the book that they were supposed to be basing it on, this could have been a good movie. The actors seemed to be competent, and a far more interesting film could have been made if they had spent maybe the first 15 minutes on Marie's early days in France and used the rest to show how much she grew and matured over the years. (They still could have used the pretty sets and clothes.)

Then there was the ending. I sat there stunned, saying, "That's it?" Somebody said something along the lines of "Well, we all know how it ends," but I wouldn't count on that, and showing the dignity that Marie displayed during her trial and the abuse that she received at the hands of the revolutionaries, even if they didn't show the actual execution, would have provided a moving contrast to the early scenes.

Final word - it could have been good, possibly even better than good, but they went for the easy, simplistic drivel, despite the high quality of their so-called source. Oh -and the music was horrendous, especially at the beginning.

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