The Girl King

2015

Action / Biography / Drama / History / Romance

13
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 58%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 2469

Synopsis


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Cast

Sarah Gadon as Countess Ebba Sparre
François Arnaud as Karl Gustav Kasimir
Michael Nyqvist as Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna
Lucas Bryant as Count Johan Oxenstierna
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
773.89 MB
1280*534
English
24 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 6 / 10
1.61 GB
1920*800
English
24 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 3 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Tracy Allard 9 / 10

A beautiful film about a lesser known historical period

I caught this film entirely by accident, with zero expectations or knowledge of the subject matter. I am unqualified to speak to the historicity of the events. But if it is close to historical events, what a beautiful film was made of it. Dealing with politics and religion and feminism, it is a rare little gem.

Christina, the Queen (actually "King") of Sweden from 1632 (age 6) until 1654, was tutored by a unique man, and grew up to be a young woman with curiosity about the world and a taste for life, she shook the institutions of the day, with an unkind mixture of success and failures. The film is mostly in English with a little French (accompanied by subtitles), the actors do a fine job, and I really appreciated the makeup team's subtle approach. I might have appreciated a script less focused on romance and more on personality and accomplishments, but then again, in our 20s, hormones can dominate all.

Reviewed by maurice yacowar 8 / 10

Queen Christina flees convention and patriarchal power

Mika Kaurismaki's Queen Christina of Sweden (Malin Buska) is tall, beautiful, and without a hump on one shoulder, but otherwise she's a fair representation of the historic figure. In her restless spirit, intellectual appetite, impatience with the patriarchy and her lesbianism she's a much more accurate representation than Rouben Mamoulian's (Garbo in Queen Christina, 1933).

Of course Kaurismaki opts to revive the 17th Century Christina story now because it's a sharp reflection of our times. I don't know how Swedes or Finns will see their lives in this film, but much of it rings clear for North America and Europe today. The film bristles with pertinence, like the male advisor's "Peace doesn't fill our coffers" and her "Austerity is sadistic."

Christina's advocacy of peace, culture, the arts, make her a model for modern leadership. In her refusal to accept male authority, especially not to allow any man to claim her as a field he can plow for his pleasure, she is the prototypal feminist. Sadly, the contemporary also limns through her ultimate defeat by the male authority and their rejection of her same-sex passion as "deviance." Her male counsellors conspire against her, drive off her beloved, and drive Christina into madness, until she escapes.

We're still hung up on the questions she poses to Descartes: what is love, how do we deal with it, how can we free ourselves from it. We still crave the freedom to define our own destiny and escape our inherited structures and strictures. If we've moved beyond Descartes' assumption that our emotions have a physical source, we continue to build upon his confidence in empirical evidence and in the essential use of reason.

But another Cartesian statement propels the film: To find the truth we must abandon everything we have learned or assumed and establish a new understanding of our world. This is the triumph of discovery over habit, reason over delusion, freedom over "destiny." This is how this Christina constantly flies in the face of what she has been taught and what is expected of her.

Her escape is ironic. Her advisors having long insisted she marry to produce a clear heir to the throne, she now proclaims one suitor her son and bestows upon him her royal authority. With a quarter of the treasury she departs to Rome, where she converts to Catholicism and enjoys the life of secular culture and stimulation she has craved. As one counsellor bitterly observes, having rejected all her male suitors she settles into life under the authority of the Pope. The last shots, however, play her as exulting in openness, freedom and the light the Swedish court and "thinkers" denied her. She abandons her throne and power to recreate herself in Rome.

Now, here's the crowning irony. Mika and younger brother Aki Kaurismaki are famous for acerbic contemporary stories about inarticulate, hard drinking, ugly and lugubrious losers, steeped in 1950s rock and roll. Nobody in a blind test would guess The Girl King is a Kaurismaki film. But here the director does what his heroine does and what her healthiest mentor, Descartes, prescribed. To find the truth, to see how Queen Christina reflects upon our current reality, Kaurismaki discarded his customary period, his familiar genres and his signature style, then and bathos — to make something completely new. And true to our day as it is to his subject's.

Reviewed by Tom Dooley 6 / 10

Fascinating Biopic on Kristina Queen of Sweden

Kristina inherited the throne of Sweden at the age of six when her father dies in the religious wars that gripped Europe in the Seventeenth Century i.e.; fighting Papism. Her father had brought her up as a prince and she was accustomed to manly pursuits. Taken under the wing of Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna played brilliantly by Michael Nyqvist ('100 Code' and 'Europa Report').

She however has a mind of her own and is taken by the new thinking and philosophers of the time like Rene Descartes all of which are rejected by the austere Protestantism that her country has fought for. She also is a bit opposed to marriage and the many courtiers that come 'a wooing' her. Contrastingly she is enamoured with a certain Lady in Waiting and soon is breaking with more than one convention in pursuit of what she really wants.

Now this is a pan European production but is mainly in English with a tad of German and French. The acting is all top notch and the period detail is spot on too. This though is a personal view of the woman rather that a wider view of European politics and so is told on a smaller canvas than I was expecting. That said it is thoroughly watchable and is a noteworthy production – I wish it had been in Swedish though but English is now the Lingua Franca it would appear – so this is one that should appeal to lovers of modern European cinema who like a bit of spice in their lead roles.

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