Sissi has often inspired film directors and writers, today it is Vicky Krieps who embodies her on the screen in the movie « Corsage« .
Corsage : A feminist movie ?
Like Catherine de Medici, Marie Stuart or Marie-Antoinette, Élisabeth Amélie Eugénie de Wittelsbach or « Sissi », is one of those women who have marked history. After her marriage to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1854 (aged 16), the Duchess became Empress and one of the world’s most famous women in the process. Admired for her bearing and her hypnotizing beauty, Sissi has since occupied the screens, in front of a real object of cinema, in particular thanks to the films of Ernst Marischka with Romy Schneider.
Corsage aims to reveal the personality of the Empress, to reveal her anxieties, her ambitions, but also to show her in her daily life and to insist on what made her such a different, modern and intelligent woman.
A Duchess avid for freedom
The movie Corsage takes place in Austria in 1877, Sissi celebrates her 40th birthday. Wife of Emperor François-Joseph I, Elisabeth maintains an obsession with thinness and youth. Her role as first lady of Austria obliging her to make a good impression in all circumstances, she adheres to a strict diet, physical exercises and daily beauty treatments. As a true woman-object, Elisabeth of Austria suffocates under the weight of royal conventions. Avid for freedom, she will rebel against the idleness and sexism in which she is locked up. The rhythm and the dialogues give the story a totally romantic dimension. Flaubert does not seem far in the features of an empress obsessed with her waistline and eternal youth. In this sense, the feature film is incredibly modern. As Europe at the time was about to fall into generalized chaos, the Empress consumed her life in superficial pleasures, with the exception of a visit to a psychiatric hospital where she seemed to recognize in the features of certain patients , the terror of his own neurosis.