DIRECTOR: MARIE KREUTZER STARRING: VICKY KRIEPS, COLIN MORGAN, FINNEGAN OLDFIELD RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 53 MINUTES
A fictional account of the later years of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. On Christmas Eve 1877, Elisabeth turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman and starts trying to maintain her public image, once idolized for her beauty.
“A lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.”
Corsage is the latest submission for Austria for International Feature. Set back in 1877, Empress Elizabeth of Austria is about to celebrate her 40th birthday. Having been away from the public for quite some time, Elizabeth is nervous about how people will perceive her once she makes an appearance again.
The film proceeds to follow Elizabeth for an entire year as she struggles with herself, her restlessness and her depression. She moves from palace to palace and from royal to royal. She wants to break free but she is being held back. She wants to be herself, to love and to be loved. She wants to be able to eat a meal without having judgements made about her weight. Or having her complexion ridiculed. Or having her actions questioned. It’s a perfect buildup to the perfect ending of the film.
Marie Kreutzer has directed an incredible, witty, funny, extremely smart film. She takes on a very difficult storyline and creates a film that takes you in from the first shot to the brilliant ending. There’s so much to process and to contemplate once it’s all over. The cinematography is breathtaking. The score is so riveting. The costumes, the production design. It all works. And the star of the film: Vicky Krieps. She is one of the best and most hard working actresses today. She always takes on a risky role and she always succeeds in it. Brilliant, funny and heartbreaking. She controls the screen with every gesture, her pain in her eyes as the society around her slowly destroys her piece by piece. Corsage delves head on into the society that we have created for ourselves. A society where we need to have the perfect body. The perfect skin. The perfect hair. A society where we need to stay eternally young. Wouldn’t it be so refreshing to just let loose and to stop caring? To just be our true selves. To get on a horse and to be free with nature. To remove our corsages. To show our flaws. To be human.