Reportedly booed at this year's Cannes Film Festival, 'Marie Antoinette', Sofia Coppola's biopic of the infamous French queen, is unlikely to endear itself to Irish audiences either.

The film follows the Archduchess of Austria, played by Kirsten Dunst, as she leaves her homeland to marry the heir to the French throne at the tender age of 15. Her spouse, King Louis XVI, becomes monarch after his father dies four years into their marriage.

We witness Marie struggle to adjust to life at Versailles, with her royal duties, which include the arduous task of seducing her new husband (Jason Schwartzman), proving difficult to master.

Based on Antonia Fraser's book about the ill-fated queen, 'Marie Antoinette' smacks of an exercise in futility, albeit a flashy one. If the goal was to create some sympathy for her, then director Coppola fails miserably. No matter how much it tries to paint her in a positive light, Marie still comes off as a spoilt brat. More importantly, because of its insularity, it manages to make one of the most interesting periods in European history appear quite dull.

Aesthetically it catches the eye, but there are only so many pretty dresses and shots of magnificent architecture you can watch before the novelty wears off. The use of modern music in this period piece has been criticised by some quarters, but - to be fair - it works in most scenes in which it is used.

It is commendable that Dunst, now an instantly recognisable Hollywood face, makes the effort to appear in relatively unfashionable productions. However, she needs to be a touch more picky when choosing her roles. Like 'The Cat's Meow', this is a film the 24-year-old is likely to look back on with regret in the years to come.

With a plethora of worthy attractions out at the moment, it would be foolish to waste a trip to the cinema by seeing this.

Séamus Leonard