In this well-researched, skillfully written New Yorker piece about the life and legacy of the life of Marie-Antoinette, Judith Thurman says the following about Sofia Coppola, director of the empty and for the most part despicable Marie-Antoinette (Columbia, 10.20):

She “is a fashion celebrity and muse who helps to publicize the work of designer friends by wearing it with the teasing glamour of a jaded virgin playing dress-up in her mother’s clothes. She has always been drawn to beautiful, trapped girls, who belong to a generation too cynical to unite in rebellion and too cool to unite in conformity. You can see why Coppola thought that the ‘teen Queen’ — a hostage to appearances — would make a good subject. But, rather than play to [Marie-Antoinette’s] forte for impiety, she and an ensemble of virtuoso technicians have produced — despite the odd, postmodern wink — a sanitized, old-fashioned costume picture.”
Thurman’s piece again reminds me what a fascinating film Marie-Antoinette might have been if someone other than Coppola had directed it.
Marie-Antoinette unfolds as if there was such thing as a film school with an unlimited stratospheric budgets for its students, and Coppola was a student in this school and her instructor had said to her one day, “Sofia, I’m giving you a special assignment. I want you to do more than just make a film about Marie-Atoinette — I want you to portray her in the shallowest and most vapid way imaginable. Really, Sofa…I want you to take out everything that would give her depth, resonance, empathy. I want you to gut your film of everything but the emptiest elements. You can do this, Sofia. I have faith in you. Just look within yourself, look at what your own life has been, use your father’s connections…and follow your heart.”