Corsage (2022)

I think that we can all agree by now that, despite what classic Disney movies and other fairy tales of our childhood have led us to believe, being a queen (or any other piece of a royal family, to be honest) really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Between the gossip and revelations exposed about a certain modern-day royal family, other films and documentaries depicting lives of past princess and queens, and Game of Thrones (okay, perhaps this is a bit of an extreme example), it’s clear that the royal woman of past and present have their looks and lives simultaneously admired and picked apart with the most severe of microscopes. No matter what they’re going through, the expectation of elegance and ever-lasting beauty is of the utmost and primary importance.

But what happens when a queen turns 40?


"a very beautifully intelligent films with a top-notch performance from its star"

In a voice-over, as we see her blow out her 40th birthday candles, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (Vicky Krieps), explains that when one turns 40, “a person begins to disperse and fade.” Married to Franz Joseph, the ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at only 16 years old, Empress Elisabeth has had her fill of the royal life and all of the boring ceremonial duties that come with it. The beautiful and elegant image that she must uphold is something that she is finding harder and harder to hold onto.

She becomes erratic, restless, rebellious – not in an overtly dramatic way, but in a way that very much lacks decorum – feigning illness with a swoon, smoking, flirting with a fellow horseback rider, etc.  And it’s hard not to sympathize with her to do so. The daily waist measuring, weight monitoring, the loveless marriage, and of course, the viscerally painful tightening of the corset strings – the horrid piece of bone-bending clothing that keeps her metaphorically and literally imprisoned in this kind of life. But at the same time, writer/director Marie Kreutzer keeps it honest. Our Empress has her flaws. Her selfishness, narcissism, childishness, unwavering demands, and callousness are all shown and felt. And Krieps is no doubt mesmerizing in inhabiting this quietly rebellious queen that feels she has nothing left in the world, though she keeps trying, in vain, to find something left to hold onto.Corsage (2022)

There’s an immense amount of intelligence in this film. Not only in its brazen depiction of the Empress, but also in its characters, atmosphere, modern music, and other shameless anachronisms give Corsage a modernity to this magnetic period piece.

Corsage is a very strong film spanning over several months of this internally-tortured Empress’s life, but the one issue I did have was that, though I do enjoy a slow-burn, this film perhaps takes its time a bit too often. Nearing two hours, every moment is thoroughly and slowly felt. But considering all of the things that this film does well, this is only a minor issue. At the end of the day, Corsage stands as a very beautifully intelligent films with a top-notch performance from its star – a type of film that is rare to come by these days.

Corsage is now available of Blu Ray courtesy of IFC Films.

3/5 stars


Corsage (2022)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: IFC Films
Available on Blu-ray
- July 11, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English, English SDH, French
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Vicky Krieps) is idolized for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. But in 1877, “Sisi” celebrates her 40th birthday and must fight to maintain her public image. While Elisabeth’s role has been reduced against her wishes to purely ceremonial duties, her hunger for knowledge and zest for life makes her more and more restless in Vienna. She rebels against the hyperbolized image of herself and comes up with a plan to protect her legacy.


Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1, the 1080p of the film is impeccable and does a great job at translating the image and quality of the KODAK 35 mm film that was used to shoot the film. Full of rich colors and consistent, minimal grain with perfect definition in details, Corsage’s images whether exterior or interior look stunning.


Though the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack sounds very clean and sharp, I did notice that the dialogue, regardless of whichever of the four languages was being spoken, did come in considerably lower than the rest of the mix. Other than that, the surround gives a nice boost on the low end, especially where the modern music is concerned. Ambient noises were also accented well, especially when highlighting the vastness of some of the old, royal buildings and halls.


With no commentary and some very, very short featurettes, there is only a miniscule number of extra features to be seen. Though what is included is enjoyable, the amount is so limited that the extras are virtually non-existent.


  • None

Special Features:

  • Behind the Scenes of Corsage

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Corsage (2022)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
114 mins
: Marie Kreutzer
Marie Kreutzer
Vicky Krieps; Florian Teichtmeister; Katharina Lorenz
: Drama

Memorable Movie Quote: "Nobody loves anybody"
Theatrical Distributor:
IFC Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 7, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 11, 2023
Synopsis: A fictional account of one year in the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. On Christmas Eve 1877, Elisabeth, once idolized for her beauty, turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman; she starts trying to maintain her public image.


Corsage (2022)