The beautiful biopic by Marie Kreutzer is an extraordinary historical fresco capable of connecting tradition and experimentation.
Corsage introduces us to the difficult moment he is experiencing the empress Sissi (Vicky Krieps), who in the Vienna of 1875 is probably experiencing the most difficult moment of his marriage with Emperor Franz Joseph (Florian Teichtmeister), also due to the sudden death of the young daughter Sofia.
Without having exactly an idea of how to change her life, punctuated by the need to always be young, in crisis due to the passage of age that leads her to 40 years, the woman, for better or worse, is looking for an escape from chronic unhappiness.
Where can he be saved? Perhaps in the attentions of the English gamekeeper Bay Middleton (Colin Morgan)? Or in the reconstruction of a true relationship with the firstborn, the cynical crown prince Rodolfo (Aaron Friesz). Maybe it will be the cousin, the creative, nonconformist and sensitive Ludwig (Manuel Rubey) to give her the freedom she seeks, which she in turn denies the ladies-in-waiting like Marie (Katharina Lorenz) forced to a sort of unofficial monasticism.
Between sumptuous dresses, ceremonials, cold dinners and increasingly stringent comparisons with her husband, the queen will eventually find herself in the throes of an inner battlegrafted with the total lack of happiness and the will to finally be Free
A biopic different from the Hollywood norm
Among the films presented at the last Cannes Film Festival, without a doubt Corsage it is one of those that has most impressed, because capable of completely renewing the genre of biopic, certainly among the most abused and badly used in recent years as in Bohemian Rapsodyor in the female derivation in the film dedicated to Billie Holiday.
The director Marie Kreutzeralso author of the screenplay, moves away from Hollywood clichés, but at the same time decides not to be completely faithful to the classic version of the film biography, inserting elements of reference to modernity over and over again.
In this he appears very close to what he did Susanna Nicchiarelli since the time of Nico 88, then move on to Miss Marx. Corsage it is in fact above all a film that speaks to us of the eternal struggle of women to obtain emancipation, a freedom that is transversal, interests both the private and one’s own public figure, and without a shadow of a doubt very few women in history have represented this dimension as Sissi, the Empress of the myth. But it is a myth that this film destroys piece by piece.
Corsage good or bad is therefore above all the story of an existential decayspiritual, as well as physical, since the extraordinary interpretation of Krieps, makes us understand how much this woman found herself substantially trapped in a dimension that she could not control
Corsage it is the story of an existential prison
Judith Kaufmann’s extraordinary photography gives the whole the identity of an oppressive prisonand without bars, without guardians, if not the etiquette, the tradition, the need for a court that lives anchored in 1700, even if we are now preparing to embrace the twentieth century.
Corsage it also speaks to us of the immutability that leads to the death of dynastiesthe inability to adapt to an era that films show us how to now be closely connected to modernity, with technology taking its first steps, while the need for the Austro-Hungarian Empire to move towards the future is revealed.
Sissi understands it, she understands it, in the private sector, he tries to exercise his opinion in some way other than his own power, which in reality does not exist. Also in this juncture the film makes a decisive leap in quality, since it is one of the best that have been seen in recent years in depicting the intimate reality of an aristocratic marriage.
That of this beautiful woman, chased by pain in her affections, was deeply unhappy, because in any case connected to an experience that was that of a woman of the time, in which even sexuality was a dangerhid a pregnancy that was sometimes a death sentence at the time.
The historical reality of being a woman
Sex in Corsage it is the metaphor of a lack of total freedom, it is longed for, hoped for, later even in the most convenient ways and yet it never comes, just as total liberation never comes except with death. Of enormous quality as regards the direction, which is intimate, but at the same time capable of taking a step back from the protagonist, Corsage it is more than a historical film, a film about history understood as that of women. She, one of the most legendary empresses, was in fact alsoand the first real celebrity modernly understoodwith the fanaticism about one’s body, the ideal weight, the need to have a physique that fits precisely into that corset, which represents the metaphor of a dictatorship of the image on real life. In this, Corsage connects to the Blonde by Andrew Dominik in making a clean sweep of a male-centered myth in favor of a harsh reality. Sissi that he only eats slices of orange, insipid broths, while Francesco Giuseppe tries to find his way with a plate of spaghetti. We see Sissi getting lost in desperate ridestry to surround himself with that decadent and tame nature, in which he found, if nothing else, relief. Film about imposed and unwanted motherhood, on a mask that is worn in the private as much as in the public, the film sees it as a mannequin to be applauded without soul, without intentions and without opinions. Very few films in recent years have made us understand how deep was the suffering of the female world in the society of the past, and certainly Corsage it can claim a great formal as well as semantic quality.