Werth: So, the Golden Globes were last weekend. Have you been making a dent in your awards season movie viewing?
Wise: I saw Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere.
Werth: NY 1’s Neil Rosen would scold.
Werth: She’s not the first director you would think of for a period film... and you said ‘titular’.
Wise: Most of her work is very contemporary, sorting out the strange mores and odd habits of modern life, but she brings that same sensibility to Marie Antoinette. The movie is a strange pop fantasy of a costume drama with an 80s New Wave and Post-Punk score and a cast that looks more like teen comedy than the usual line-up of Shakespeare-trained Brits either wolfing down the scenery or being so staid you can hardly feel a pulse.
Werth: I kinda wished Louis got bit by a radioactive bug and then Marie made out with him while he hung upside down.
Werth: Pauvre, pauvre Marie and Louis.
Wise: The film is a real visual delight, filled with sherbet-y colors and fanciful patterns, plus the production had unprecedented access to the real palace at Versailles which gives the film an opulence a Hollywood sett could never deliver. But it’s not just a feature-length music video.Coppola favors long, silent takes while the camera trails the actors. And even when there is dialogue, she uses it less for exposition, and more as part of the soundtrack. There are occasional scenes where one actor speaks English while another replies in French.
Werth: Jamie Dornan’s rewards are immense.
Wise: Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “succumb.” What’s your pick this week?
Wise: I kind of had you pegged as a fan of Dirk Bogarde in A Tale of Two Cities.
Werth: I prefer my ToTC Ronald Colman-style. From the moment I saw Dangerous Liaisons as a teen in my dear friend Leanne’s basement, I was spell-bound by the artful human manipulation depicted. Vincent Canby in the New York Times perfectly describes it as a "kind of lethal drawing-room comedy." Set in France in the 1780’s, Dangerous Liaisons features the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont—
Wise: Somebody stayed awake during French class.
Wise: It’s like High Noon—but with bodices.
Wise: She doesn’t boil rabbits in this one.
Werth: I very much appreciated his ability to bring his character Ted into the 18th Century—a task he repeated in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.
Wise: And now that we’ve circled back to the Coppola clan, I think it’s time to bid adieu.
Werth: Au revoir mes Film Gab lecteurs!