Betrothed to King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman
), the naïve Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst
) at the age of 14, is thrown into the opulent French court which is steeped in conspiracy and scandal. Alone, without guidance, and adrift in a dangerous world, the young Marie Antoinette rebels against the isolated atmosphere at Versailles and, in the process, becomes France's most misunderstood monarch.
The story begins when 14-year-old Marie Antoinette is whisked away from her family and friends in Vienna, stripped of all her possessions and deposited in the sophisticated and decadent world of Versailles, the lavish royal court near Paris.
Marie Antoinette is merely a pawn in an arranged marriage meant to solidify the harmony between two nations. Her teenage husband, Louis the Dauphin, is heir to the French throne. But Marie Antoinette is ill prepared to be the kind of ruler for whom the French populace yearns. Beneath her finery, she's a sheltered, frightened and confused young woman, surrounded by vicious detractors, insincere flatterers, puppet masters and gossips. Trapped by the conventions of her station in life, Marie Antoinette must find a way to fit into the complex and treacherous world of Versailles.
Adding to her woes is the indifference of her new husband, Louis. Their marriage goes unconsummated for an astonishing seven years. The awkward future king proves to be a disaster as a lover, sparking grave concerns (and relentless gossip) that Marie Antoinette will never produce an heir.
Overwhelmed and distraught, Marie Antoinette seeks refuge in the decadence of the French aristocracy and in a secret love affair with the alluring Swedish Count Fersen (Jamie Dornan). Her indiscretions are soon the talk of France.
Slowly, as she matures, she begins to find her way as a wife, mother and Queen — only to be tragically swept up in a bloody revolution that alters France forever.
Based on the book Marie Antoinette: The Journey
by Antonia Fraser.