The case for each is as follows.
Sofia's case for Coppola-related twunthood could be made on the basis of her risible acting in the Godfather III, or for the way talented actors like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson had to struggle to make their performances be felt through Sofia's wading-through-treacle directorial style in Lost in Translation. But on this occasion we'll focus on one film: Marie Antoinette.
Sofia's crimes against directing in Marie Antoinette, this utterly tedious shoefest of a home video of a wank-homage to being rich and pointless, are legion. To list some of them:
- Casting Marianne Faithful, a rock legend, and then not really giving her much to do apart from staring out of windows.
- Casting Steve Coogan, a comedy actor who specialises in over-the-top characters, as a straight-faced courtier.
- The use of punk imagery, to imply that Marie Antoinette was, y'know, kinda punk. Marie Antoinette was not punk. Marie Antoinette was THE FUCKING QUEEN OF FUCKING FRANCE! She represented reaction, conservatism and elitism. This means that there are very few people in history who were less punk than Marie Antoinette. Leonid Brezhnev, possibly. Or Pope John Paul II.
- The ridiculously overlong shots of fountains in the Palace of Versailles, which is supposed to make us thrall at the wonders of the place, but in fact makes us feel like we're being forced to sit through some annoying relative's home movie of their holiday in France.
- Spending stupid amounts of money by hiring top fashion designers to make the dresses and shoes for the film, and a couture baker to bake the cakes. IT'S ON FILM YOU STUPID BINT! We couldn't tell if that was a real cake or if it was a lump of polystyrene with some icing smeared round it!
- Skipping over important historical moments. Depicting the death of her child by changing a painting. Getting a courtier to wander onscreen between parties to say, "Pardon me, your majesties, but the Bastille has just been stormed." What? That's how you're going to portray it? I suppose there can't have been much budget left to film some Bastille-storming after pointlessly spending all that cash on fashion designers and couture bakers.
- Stopping the film before we get to any of that depressing stuff about being imprisoned and beheaded. Might distract from all the shoes, dresses and cake.
In all fairness, Nicholas Cage has done a few good performances, such as Leaving Las Vegas. But eh's also made some godawful films too. Let's concentrate purely on one of those: the Neil laBute remake of The Wicker Man. Quite apart from the sheer stupidity of trying to remake a film where absolutely everybody knows how it ends, they managed to take out every bit of the original that made it work - the rustic charm, the musical soundtrack, the use of British folklore - and replace it with a paranoid fantasy about evil wommyn who want to chop your willy off. Poor old Nic was made to run around blundering into things, punching out women and generally behaving like an annoying arse. The only redeeming feature of the film is that it produced this YouTube video...
...in which out-takes were re-edited into a trailer for a Farrelly Brothers-style comedy. If that was really what the movie was like, I would have probably enjoyed it a lot more. As it was, I wanted to grab Nic Cage and toss him into a flaming Wicker Man myself, and if I see him in the street, I will.
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Who's the worst product of Coppola nepotism?