Marie Antoinette

On April 19, 1770 Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI of France. This was a political marriage that was meant to wed two countries together. In Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette we are introduced to Marie in a different way. Today we are taught that she was an ignorant woman, when in reality she was a teenage girl forced into a loveless marriage.

The movie opens with Marie being forced to move from her home in Austria to France. After a long journey, she meets her future in laws where she greets them with a hug only to be shown that it is frowned upon. Sadly, she is told that she must leave her dog behind before heading into Versailles. Once there, she is made prepared to marry Louis XVI. The fifteen year old Marie and the sixteen year old Louis do not find themselves fond of each other. On their wedding night, they do not sleep together. In the morning Marie is awoken in her bed chamber to find that there are people there who have to dress her everyday. She is told that this is custom in Versailles, as is the way that she is to eat and drink. When Louis’s father dies of smallpox Marie and Louis are made king and queen of France. This is a turning point in the film as many people are to leave Versailles and many are to come. As the film goes on we watch as Marie indulges in clothes, shoes,  and parties of the high life that she is used to. Unfortunately, she and her husband have yet to consummate their marriage. This is something that many people in the palace know about. Marie is informed that she has to produce an heir through her husband. Even her own mother writes to her insisting that her daughter produce an heir. Yet, Marie still does not love Louis. She ends up having an affair with Axel Ferson. This brings joy into Marie’s life, yet she knows that her child must be from Louis. Eventually, the two do conceive a child much to the delight of everyone. She has another child later in the film. However, there is a revolution brewing with the common people heading closer to Versailles. After bidding many friends farewell, Marie insists on standing by her husband. The movie ends with Marie and Louis leaving Versailles just as it was about to be attacked by angry rioters.

Marie Antoinette is one of the most well known names today. On April 19, 1770 the mark she made in history began when she married Louis XVI. In the 2006 film Marie Antoinette, we are introduced to a different Marie who was a teenage girl forced into a marriage and just wanted to be a normal teenage girl. However, this was not the case for Marie in her life as she was born into royalty and wealth.

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