Coppola delivers the Clothes Porn 23.Oct.2006
It’s 8:30 pm at the City Cinemas on the opening night of “Marie Antoinette.” A friendly if not slightly over enthusiastic usher comes by and asks me, “So, are you here because it’s a Sofia Coppola movie or for the history?” I look him dead in the eye and simply respond, “I’m here for the clothes.”
Some people might call it an obsession. I call it a lifestyle. Clothes are my passion. I love to talk about them, think about them, write about them and of course, wear them. When I can’t get to sleep at night, I lie in bed and imagine five outfits I can create using a vest, black wool tights, a denim mini and some vintage cowboy boots. At my day job I daydream about the art of layering, and on the subway thoughts of how to take fashion risks without becoming a fashion disaster consume me. Clothes are my life force without which I would surely shrivel up and wear Eddie Bauer — a fate far worse than death.
Naturally, when I first heard about “Marie Antoinette” my interest was piqued. Period pieces are like clothes porn for me; images of perfectly tailored gowns flouncing through hallways and swishing in ballrooms gives me fever. But, there was one problem.
The director would be none other than Sofia Coppola who, although quite the fashion plate herself, still had to answer for the shit parade that was “Lost in Translation.” Other than seeing ScarJo’s panty-clad ass and Bill Murray sing karaoke, that movie left me feeling like my time would have been better spent chewing glass. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time gathering up any amount of sympathy for some girl who’s in the luxury sweet of a five star hotel in Tokyo feeling sorry for herself for the better part of two hours. Honestly. Go shopping, get a massage, buy a book, do SOMETHING. You are rich and beautiful in Tokyo. It could be worse.
So, hearing that Ms. Coppola was going to do this movie I was preparing myself for the worst. That is, until I saw the trailer.
Watching the preview was like watching my own heart. It’s as if Ms. Coppola had plunged into the depths of my soul, observed all my hopes, dreams and desires, and resurfaced with “Marie Antoinette,” a movie that promised to give me romance, great music and clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. I was sold.
As far as plot, or any kind of narrative or character development goes, this movie? Not so much. But, leave all that aside and you have what might be the most hard-core clothes porn I’ve seen to date. And really, it’s no surprise. This is a movie about a girl who loved clothes made by a girl who loves clothes, set in an era whose extravagance makes Paris Hilton look cheap, or rather; thrifty.
Powdered wigs piled three feet high and decorated with flowers filled the screen and gave me palpitations.
The lavish costumes, sumptuously created by Milena Canonero, dominated each scene with their bright and tasty colors, making my mouth water and honestly wonder if Ms. Canonero traded in fabric for frosting. Seriously, I wanted to put those gowns in my mouth.
And, that fan? It’s made of sugar, right?
I know most of the reviews for “Marie Antoinette” have been bad. But, honestly, I think those suckers are missing the point. This is a film where the real stars are the clothes and the palace of Versailles. I mean, if you want to see good acting, why go to a movie with Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in it in the first place? Planks of wood have more emotive capabilities than these two. And, something else to keep in mind: “Marie Antoinette” is not for learning; it’s entirely for fun. It’s for watching pretty people in even prettier outfits run around a palace and party. It’s for make believing that you too are a princess in a fierce pink gown eating mountains of cake with the whole world, and an army of Manolo’s, at your fingertips.
Ms. Coppola, with “Marie Antoinette,” makes my princess fantasy a little more real, a lot more fabulous and eventually I can buy it on DVD and relive it whenever I like. And, for that, I am eternally grateful. I’ll even consider getting over my deep loathing of “Lost in Translation” because watching a shopping montage take place in a palace while Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” plays means THAT much to me.
Ms. Coppola understands that I want candy too and with “Marie Antoinette” she delivers.
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