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  • Writer's pictureBalkan Art Scene

#SFF22 "Corsage" – Mirror Mirror On The Wall, What Is The Meaning Of Life?

Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, France, 2022, 113 min.

Director: Marie Kreutzer Cast: Vicky Krieps, Florian Teichtmeister, Katharina Lorenz, Jeanne Werner, Alma Hasun, Manuel Rubey, Finnegan Oldfield, Aaron Friesz, Rosa Hajjaj, Lilly Marie Tschörtner, Colin Morgan


Empress Elisabeth of Austria “Sissi” celebrates her 40th birthday and wants to maintain her public image by lacing her corset tighter. Although she is surrounded with wealth and plenty of choices, she cannot stop searching for more extreme ways to feed her restless spirit.

She visits England and Bavaria, and enjoys her time with former lovers and friends, but as the story unfolds we can see that beneath her rebellious spirit is a crushed woman with nowhere to go.

“Corsage” is a type of a film that can easily leave you speechless, shocked or even confused. Story that seems adventurous, almost glamorous, gets an existential twist which slowly but surely becomes clear by the end of the film. The audience can feel connection with Sissi’s pain and trauma that was never even closely to resolved.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria prefers to set her own standards to any event, often tricking people and misleading them. Although her position is a top of the royalty, her behavior is very rebellious, almost childish, and she does not serve her official purpose as an Empress. Her thoughts are focused on vanity and public image, having affairs, and getting her own way. Conflicts with husband are, therefore, very common. But nonetheless, Sissi feels complete empathy, at first to those less fortunate (her long-term involvement in asylum for women) and also with a special connection she had with animals (her two dogs and her horse).


Apart from the pent up sexual frustration and existential emptiness, there is one crucial point in the film – Sissi feels no connection with people around her. This includes her son who is moralizing her and daughter who is almost afraid of her.

The only thing closest to emotional connection are her affairs with her lover but that still doesn’t suffice lack of real connection.

Her behavior of emotionally distant and passionate mistress is destroying her, leaving Sissi only with a bad reputation and vanity to feed.

Does Sissi care about her private relationships and what public thinks of her?

Does Elisabeth care, though?

Author: Hana Tiro

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