Marie Kreutzer literally and figuratively frees Elisabeth in Bavaria from her historical straightjacket in Corsage, which depicts the Austrian empress’s oppressive life. Unlike the iconic trilogy Sissi – which made Romy Schneider a true star – Marie Kreutzer opts for a frangeless, less gold-leafed portrait of the empress. The Austrian filmmaker zooms in on the tipping point year of 1877 when Sissi (Vicky Krieps) suddenly feels like an old woman groaning under the weight of her own isolation.
So is this an objective portrayal of who Empress Elisabeth was? Absolutely not. Especially in the second half of the film, the story takes increasingly freer runs with reality and Elisabeth starts acting more like a rock star than a princess. This quirky costume drama is Austria’s entry for Oscars.