this makes Sofia Coppola seem substantial: hip, cool, luxurious and perfectly insular
you wonder what this is about, I mean, clearly it’s about a gaggle of aimless, complacent trustafarians, but what is it about? what’s the theme? – how hard it is to make up your mind when you’re living in the social whirl and easy prey to dastardly manipulative characters?
it ought to be satire, but for this to work as satire, you would need a character outside the consensus as protagonist, or victim (Martin Amis’ trick), someone who wants in, or wants out, but this is just a drama about the empty love lives of the young and idle and rich to be enjoyed by the young and idle and rich, it holds a mirror up to this world, yes, but then they all gather around and fix their make up in it
they say write what you know – Alexandra McGuinness seems to know this milieu, she seems very invested in the milieu, and lavishes romantic, glamorous black and white on it, but she doesn’t dig very deep
at least Coppola has a recurring theme: a spoiled princess wants attention (from her daddy/husband), McGuinness has nothing to say – except that she has impeccable taste, which is true of her characters, and the film is almost as complacent as its characters, considering a blasè treatment of a melodramatic plot to be cool understatement, this is complacent, not digging deeper into the material, this is laziness, or cowardice (not upsetting friends?)
the ending was tragic, but confused: the villainess and the obnoxious northerner die in a head-on collision as does the very rich French dreamboat, whose only thought seems to be longing for Antonia Campbell-Hughes (god knows why? does he have a thing for pixies?), now was this meant to be a sad outcome for our protagonist, or just the collateral damage of her getting it on with the other more sympathetic character – (sympathetic because sincere) – were we meant to happy about that liaison? then why did her (symbolic) horse suddenly break down, in a cross-cutting montage with the motor accident, leaving her on her knees and in tears? has she lost something? did she do something very wrong?