Glitter ain't everything--especially when you have no substance (just ask Mariah Carey). So, while this fact-challenged period piece has all the glam of a good costume drama (think Amadeus), there's nothing underneath the corsets. In her first starring role since taking the Oscar with Boys Don't Cry, a painfully uncomfortable Hilary Swank plays a wronged noblewoman seeking what is rightfully hers.
But her Byzantine method of righting things only pushes us further into confusion. The story--set against the last years of France's ancient regime--is so convoluted that director Charles Shyer relies on heavy-handed narration and title cards to make sense of it. In this largely miscast movie, only Joely Richardson (as Marie Antoinette) stands out. And we all know what happened to her.