• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:March 23, 2023


Vicky Krieps and Florian Teichtmeister. Photo: IFC Films

In 1877, Empress Elizabeth of Austria (Vicky Krieps) turns 40 years old and becomes increasingly obsessed with her looks and frustrated with her lack of influence. Elizabeth has been portrayed on screen many times before, but this is no traditional biography. Using anachronistic music and her own vivid imagination, Marie Kreutzer crafts a fictitious interpretation of the Empress’s life over a year as she experiments with lovers (including groundbreaking film pioneer Louis Le Prince) and tries to break free from her cage, or, rather, corsage. Krieps is compelling as a character that aims not to please. Handsomely staged; a strikingly memorable finale.

2022-Austria-Germany-Luxembourg-France. 112 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Alexander Glehr, Johanna Scherz. Written and directed by Marie Kreutzer. Cinematography: Judith Kaufmann. Costume Design: Monika Buttinger. Cast: Vicky Krieps (Empress Elizabeth), Florian Teichtmeister (Franz Joseph I), Katharina Lorenz (Marie Festetics), Jeanne Werner, Alma Hasun, Manuel Rubey.

Trivia: After the premiere of the film, several men in the cast were accused of sexual assault, sparking a #metoo debate in Austria; Teichtmeister was also arrested on child porn charges.

European Film Awards: Best Actress (Krieps). 

Last word: “When I read the biographies, they were all different in a way. The way [Elizabeth] was described has so much to do with the time that book was written in and the person who wrote it. Was it a man? Was it a woman? Was it in the 1950s? Was it now? It depends so much on that. It was also never objective. You think it’s a biography, and a historian wrote it, so it must be objective, but it never is. That freed me. I felt like I could do my own thing entirely because I will never do it right.” (Kreutzer, RogerEbert.com)

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