SISI & I – Review by Nadine Whitney

The cultural fascination with Empress Elisabeth of Austria remains well over a century after her tragic death. A rebellious royal who was minimised by her husband, dissatisfied with restrictive court life, and the nexus of gossip and intense public scrutiny, Elisabeth, or Sisi, was the precursor for Diana, Princess of Wales. Frauke Finsterwalder attempts to bring Sisi to life through the eyes of her faithful companion, Countess Irma Sztáray who was with Sisi in the final four years of her life. Finsterwalder’s reimagining of Sisi and her court is bold and modern.

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CORSAGE – Review by Diane Carson

Austrian writer/director Marie Kreutzer knows the many film and television versions of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, consort of Franz Joseph. Wisely, in Corsage, her presentation of this embattled Hapsburg Empress, Kreutzer envisions a distinctive woman, depicting this nineteenth century Elisabeth turning forty, shackled by society’s constraints, requiring her to be seen but not heard.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 16, 2022: CORSAGE

In Marie Kreutzer’s memorable drama Corsage, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Vicki Krieps) is floundering. Bogged down by the weight of lifelong social obligations, relentless public scrutiny, restrictive gender roles, and even her own bountiful head of hair, she’s a woman who’s longing to break free. That urge to rebel, to follow her heart instead of the path she’s been forced to follow since birth, drives the action in this insightful film.

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CORSAGE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Lushly decorated and costumed, while cheekily anachronistic with its use of 21st century pop songs, salty language, rude gestures and the like, Corsage takes a look at the later life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, aka “Sissi” (1837-1898), played by a suitably regal and linguistically talented Vicky Krieps (Bergman Island, Phantom Thread), who speaks at least three languages here including Hungarian, and also takes an executive producer credit. In fact, Krieps reportedly first proposed the project to Austrian writer-director Marie Kreutzer.

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CORSAGE (NYFF 2022) – Review by Margaret Barton-Fumo

The luminous Vicky Krieps, dressed to the nines in period clothing, middle finger defiantly raised—it’s a knockout poster image, but what of the actual film? Corsage is a measured, decidedly feminist feature—hardly blockbuster entertainment but a sturdy festival release, as well as an excellent showcase for Krieps’ formidable talent. Following in the footsteps of the great Romy Schneider, who starred in three Sissi films during the 1950s, Krieps has taken on the role of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, an incredibly popular royal of the late 19th century. Heavily scrutinized for her keen fashion sense and compelling public persona, Krieps’ Sissi is a real firecracker, often to the dismay of her more traditionally-minded husband.

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