Film Review: Corsage

‘Growing old gracefully’ is one of those gendered concepts which is usually applied differently to men and women in patriarchal societies. A man matures with age and is seen to gain wisdom as they reach their autumnal years. A woman, on the other hand, is often viewed as ‘past it’ and expected to simply quietly fade into the background in middle-age. Corsage uses a historical figure to tackle some of the themes surrounding this disparity.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Vicky Krieps) is famous throughout Europe for her beauty, high fashion and spiritedness. However, as Sisi celebrates her 40th birthday she is struggling to maintain her public image and live up to her reputation. Her husband Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (Florian Teichtmeister) expects her to quietly accept a life of performative duty, but her zest for life is undiminished.

Corsage is an impeccably made period drama which tackles a number of gender issues which are still prevalent almost 150 years later. There is sparkle and sparks in writer/director Marie Kreutzer’s quasi-historical film but it’s Krieps’s performance which makes it stand out. She’s integral to everything that is good in Corsage, helping to ensure that it’s eminently watchable throughout.

Corsage is out in cinemas in the US on 23 December.

Previous Live Gallery: The Clouds 30th Anniversary Tour, The Factory Theatre 18.12.2022
Next Gallery & Set List: Fields of the Nephilim / The Membranes - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London 17.12.2022

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