Corsage (2022)


Movie Details

Corsage (2022)
Director:Marie Kreutzer
Cast-Vicky Krieps: Plays Empress Elisabeth
Florian Teichtmeister: Plays Emperor Franz Joseph
Katharina Lorenz: Plays Marie Festetics
Jeanne Werner: Plays Ida Ferenczy
Alma Hasun: Plays Fanny Feifalik
Finnegan Oldfield: Plays Louis Le Prince
Manuel Rubey: Plays Ludwig II, King of Bavaria
Colin Morgan: Plays Bay Middleton
Tamás Lengyel: Plays Gyula Andrássy
Movie type- Drama/History
Release date-7 July 2022
IMDB Rating-6.6
Languages- German, French, English, Hungarian, and Italian
Duration-1 Hour 53 Minutes


Corsage (2022)


In the last MZ Live , it was repeatedly said that the praised Corsage is simply “just” a solid costume drama. However, the Austrian director and screenwriter Marie Kreutzer undoubtedly tried for something more – a feminist modernized view of the realities of life and above all the inner experience of the unhappy empress Sissi. Nothing against that, but in such a case comparisons with similar pieces, of which there have been many in recent years, cannot be avoided – and Corzet unfortunately does not stand out from this competition.

Favorite , Little Women , Bridgerton, Great , Mary, Queen of Scots , Warrior or the hated Anne Boleyn. This is just a sampling of films and series from the last few years, which have turned several centuries into history and followed the travails of female heroes in a world in which men have the main say. Unsurprisingly, this also applies to Austria-Hungary in the second half of the 19th century, when this giant on clay feet was ruled by Francis Joseph I with his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria, better known by the nickname Sissi. Originally a Bavarian princess, she married an Austrian ruler seven years older at the age of 16, and this union lasted until her untimely death.

The Empress of Austria often traveled later, as getting to know other countries helped her to forget the lack of attention from her husband, who was constantly busy with work. She excelled in sports and the arts, but perhaps most notably became known for her obsession with appearance – relying on her long hair and extremely slim figure. Kreutzer uses all of these realities in his script, but this is only a stepping stone to the indictment of a patriarchal society that places disproportionate demands on a striving woman.

We catch up with the movie Sissi, played by Vicky Krieps, around her 40th birthday. From the point of view of the conditions of the time, this is an aging woman who can no longer match her past beauty, yet she does not let up in hard diets, regular exercise and constant beautification of her appearance. However, with excessive care for the body, he neglects the soul, broken by the strict rules of the imperial court. Sissi slowly begins to rebel against her husband and society’s expectations.

Okay, the annotation already describes these basics, but what next? Just that almost nothing, or rather nothing more than what we would expect. The result of this dramatically colored historical fresco is similar to Spencer by Pablo Larraín, but without the deliberately exaggerated stylization, let alone the provocative update that Sofia Coppola scored with in the portrait of Marie Antoinette . Posing while painting pictures is reminiscent of Portrait of a Girl on Fire , but beneath its calm surface a much more spontaneous drama was bubbling, so perhaps only a completely fictional, but all the more playful episode about the meeting with the pioneer of film, Louis Le Prince, brings an above-standard engaging game with meanings.

The life story of a woman who over time distanced herself from her husband and her willingness to submit to the demands of the imperial court turned into melodramatic kitsch after her death, repeatedly fascinating filmmakers. The trilogy from the 1950s with Romy Schneider in the lead role was enough with nice costumes and banal sentiment, two German series from recent years (named simply Sisi and Empress) are already trying to work with the romanticized legacy of the heroine in a more conscious and modern way. Soon, the film Sisi and I, focusing on the later years of the life of the Empress of Austria and the Czech and Hungarian queens, will be released in German cinemas. Compared to the TV productions, Korzet is of course more elaborate and lively, but it cannot be said that it brings something new to the familiar subject.

The fantastic conclusion and several captivatingly filmed scenes cannot drown out the fact that most of the film is cold and desaturated – both visually and in terms of the treatment of the subject. Not even the occasionally sounding, deliberately anachronistic music of the French singer Camille or carelessly thrown objects from today’s time in the background change anything.

Marie Kreutzer can at least count on the endless charisma of Vicky Krieps, who for her physically very felt performance took home acting awards from the European Film Awards and last year’s Cannes festival, where the film premiered. Her captivating conception of a life-beaten woman looking for a bit of happiness in a society that doesn’t give her anything for free manages to keep the attention even when the script stumbles or stumbles between expected plot twists; which happens very often indeed.

Play the trailerEven the titular metaphor of a suffocatingly tight corset, which the protagonist tightens around herself ever more tightly and thereby closes herself off from her surroundings, is so literal and predictable that the director Kreutzer’s relatively tame grasp has nothing to surprise the viewer. This also applies to public errands with the face covered by a veil or compassion for psychiatrically hospitalized (i.e. imprisoned in cages) patients. Yes, being a publicly known woman, constantly in everyone’s eyes and having to face evaluation of one’s own body, was undoubtedly a very difficult lot – and there is no doubt that despite many social changes, women still have to face several demands and pressures today. However, we do not learn more than these hard-to-disprove banalities from this otherwise competently processed film.

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