Belle tells the story of a mixed-race woman raised as an aristocrat in 18th Century England. The political overtones of the story are as relevant today as they were then. Continue reading “Review: Belle”
Malin Buska stars as Kristina, Queen of Sweden, in The Girl King. I found it an uplifting story about love and power and being true to yourself. It didn’t have a romantically happy ending, but no lesbians died in the telling of the story. That’s a good thing.
The Girl King tells the story of Queen Kristina of Sweden. Kristina was on the throne by the age of six. She was raised as a prince and learned to sword fight and was able to satisfy her intellectual pursuits as a man would.
Here’s the film synopsis:
This 17th-century drama recounts the life of Sweden’s Queen Kristina, an enigmatic, flamboyant, and unpredictable woman centuries ahead of her time who ascended the throne at age six, was raised as a prince, and strived to bring peace and education to her country-while pursuing an illicit romance with her female royal attendant. Growing up as a tomboy with a strong intellectual appetite, young Kristina (an electric Malin Buska) finds herself thrown into a political frenzy as a teenager. Saddled with the Thirty Years War between Protestants and Catholics, Kristina steers her country away from the conservatives while privately grappling with her own sexual awakening, in the form of Countess Ebba Sparre (the radiant Sarah Gadon), her lovely lady-in-waiting. Her quest to understand love runs parallel with her quest to understand humanity and the violent and restrictive forces conspiring against her. Torn between the conflict of political and personal aspirations, Kristina chooses to make one of the most controversial decisions in history.
Malin Buska stars as Queen Kristina, with a cast of mainly Canadian and Swedish actors around her including Michael Nyqvist, Lucas Bryant, Laura Birn, Hippolyte Girardot, Peter Lohmeyer, François Arnaud, Patrick Bauchah, Martina Gedeck, and the aforementioned Sarah Gadon.
The story of one of the most fascinating female leaders in recorded history was written by Michel Marc Bouchard and directed by Mika Kaurismäki.
Following a limited theatrical premiere, The Girl King debuts on 12/8/2015 on DVD and on iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and at WolfeOnDemand.com.
There’s an extensive entry on Christina, Queen of Sweden on Wikipedia if you’re curious to know more.
Photos courtesy of Wolfe Video
Belle will be in theaters May 2. It looks good to me and has a terrific cast. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw from Touch, Undercovers, and Larry Crowne. The film is based on a true story about an illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral who is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle.
Also featured in the cast are Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, James Norton, Tom Felton and several more well-known actors.
Themes around race, class, and the status of women promise to make this film meaningful. The mindset of the British in the 18th Century is under the microscope here, but the same issues are still with us today.
I hope it isn’t one of those films where the good white folks save the poor helpless mulatto girl – the preview doesn’t sound like it will be.
The cast talks about the film in this interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The director Amma Asante also appears in this interview.