Directed by Marie Kreutzer (Austria, 2022, 113 min.). German, French, English, and Hungarian with English subtitles.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps) is idolized for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. But in 1877, after “Sisi” celebrates her 40th birthday, she begins to lace her corset tighter and tighter in an effort to maintain her youthful public image. Against Elisabeth’s wishes, her role has been reduced to a purely performative one. Nevertheless, this shift in responsibility doesn’t impede her hunger for knowledge or zest for life. Due to her growing restlessness in Vienna, Elisabeth visits former lovers and old friends in England and Bavaria, seeking the excitement and purpose she felt in her youth. With a future of strictly ceremonial duties ahead of her, Elisabeth rebels against the hyperbolized image of herself and comes up with a plan to protect her legacy.
“Superb . . . a brilliant reclamation. . . . We’ve heard of actors disappearing into roles before, but rarely does a role so disappear into an actor, and become all the stronger, more subversive and persuasive for it.” —Variety
With English subtitles
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