Friday, January 6, 2023


Based on true events, Vicky Krieps stars as the restless Empress Elisabeth of Austria whose behavior becomes increasingly erratic as she nears her 40th birthday, although the plodding script takes quite awhile to get to the point where her behavior becomes of interest. 

With beautiful costumes and elaborate sets, writer/director Marie Kreutzer decorates the film and fleshes out its style with splashes of modern music. The problem with Corsage, for me, is the dreadfully slow pacing making it hard to care for any of the bland characters in those costumes or any of the events playing out across those elaborate 19th Century sets.

I can't remember being so indifferent to a film than in watching Corsage. There's art to the performances and effort in the period piece biopic. But there's nary a dash of magic to its proceedings.

While the historical trappings and Krieps' performance are worthy of notice, the film overall is a mixed bag. There's certainly something of cultural interest about envisioning the 19th Century duchess as 40 year-old angry feminist fighting against cultural expectations that she's now over the hill by embracing more wild and childlike behavior, struggling to keep up appearances and not let her beauty fade, and fighting an onslaught of contemplative thoughts not expected from her station, but the film takes far too long to get there, getting lost multiple times along the way.

Despite some superficial similarities, Kreutzer doesn't want any comparisons to Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. I agree. Coppola's film is a brilliant, vibrant, exquisite tongue-in-cheek satire that jumps off the screen while Corsage struggles to maintain a pulse and at times make you wonder if its died on-screen before coughing out another rasping breath as it limps on for another long stretch of underwhelming dozen minutes or so of plot before beginning the process again.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Corsage
  • IMDb: link

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