At An Inconvenient Truth last night, I was subjected to some more trailers that I wasn’t quite expecting, from movies I had only heard of in passing.
The first was The Holiday (YouTube trailer), which I had thought was a book before it was a movie. Apparently not. Anyway, it’s a romantic comedy about switching Britain for America and vice versa, with Cameron Diaz saying “England is so quaint! Look at its old world appeal!” (carefully ignoring the tackiness of modern English culture) and Kate Winslet saying “America is so … American!” (I don’t know how to characterise America in this film).
Cameron Diaz meets Jude Law, and Kate Winslet meets … Jack Black? Jack Black is my hero, so if I can get the requisite girls in line, I might go and see this movie.
As a general rule, you can tell the calibre of film that Black is in by the state of his facial hair.
The other, more eyecatching, and possibly more noteworthy film, was Marie Antoinette:
Bubblegum pink titles? Contemporary music? People speaking with their “natural accents”? This is what we call “post modernism” or similar. I have an interest in the French Revolution fuelled largely by the anime Rose of Versailles, which is a wildly romantic and fairly balanced account of the times of France from Marie Antoinette’s rise to her fall. It was the sort of thing that I could keep people constantly updated on as I came up with new examples of decadence.
Marie Antoinette is, by many (positive) accounts, more of a trifle; A fluffy confection of a film that revises Marie Antoinette’s image. I like the idea that she felt the whole of Versailles was silly, because it was, but the problem in my mind is that in time she came to believe in the silliness and drove France into a ditch of famine, poverty, and, eventually, cycles of bloodshed.
I won’t mind seeing a sympathetic Marie Antoinette, as the Antoinette of Rose of Versailles travelled between extremes of shrewishness and tears. I suppose it may be just like Doctor Who or James Bond: the actor you saw first is the character. Which incarnation of Antoinette will be the one that sticks?
Considering the different tones taken by these films, I may be able to accept both accounts on their own merits. Whatever the case, I’m intrigued: the trailer has done its work.
Post script, ironically written before I finished writing the rest:
Damnit, I just read what Roger Ebert had to say about the film’s reception about Cannes and now I know how it ends. Sure, I know this history reasonably well, but you can never know when a historical recount ends until it stops being told. That article is interesting until the last paragraph, so don’t feel bad about reading it.
It’s also notable that Ebert got the same impression based on a hypothetical that I did from the ending of Rose of Versailles.