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Cannes 2017Movies

70 years of Cannes in 17 seconds: The time Sofia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette' was booed

Steven Zeitchik, Justin Chang and Kenneth Turan are bringing us Cannes moments from the 70 years of the international film festival -- in 17-second increments (or thereabouts). Here, Chang, with Zeitchik behind the camera, recalls the year Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" played in competition and was booed by certain members of the media audience.

That same year, when the film debuted in theaters, Times critic Kenneth Turan looked back on the boos at Cannes and concluded the reaction wasn't just about the filmmaking. Here is the essay he wrote on Oct. 13, 2006:


WHO OWNS HISTORY? And, more to the point, who owns Marie Antoinette?

Though they're not usually phrased that way, those questions have swirled around Sofia Coppola's quietly exuberant new film about the doomed young French queen (only 18 when she ascended the throne, 37 when she was executed) since it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to some scattered — and widely misunderstood — boos.

For the displeasure came not, as might be expected, from the French critics -- who'd already seen the film and whose generally positive notices were already on record in Le Film Francais, the French trade paper -- but from political types who had an ax to grind about the film's portrait of the woman in question.

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