Corsage is the Austrian writer-director Marie Kreutzer’s bold, visually striking and ingeniously anachronistic portrait of a woman in complicated rebellion. And the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, portrayed here in refreshingly irreverent style by Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), is our rebel. Married at 16 to Emperor Franz Joseph, she is now turning 40 with two children, a retinue of servants and no obvious cares. A celebrated beauty, she wears tight corsets and glorious frocks, adhering to a regimen of regular exercise and a pathological diet that often consists of little more than beef broth and thinly shaved orange slices.
Elisabeth is whisper thin, but something other than vanity and social mores is eating away at her — boredom, despair, a sense of purposelessness — sending uneasy ripples through her life. Within her small sphere, she can make demands of her ladies-in-waiting. But outside of her rooms, she is constantly being told what to do by her husband and her son. Even so, she is most concerned about the helplessness we all face: time and aging. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Performance Prize at Cannes, Corsage is a stunning, witty rendition of a tragic figure as she attempts to protect her legacy.
Multiple Languages w. English subtitles