Saturday, October 24, 2015

In Brief: The Girl King (2015) NewFest 2015

THE GIRL KING is film that has me very mixed. Being touted as the first film to really look at the sexuality of Queen Christina of Sweden (it plays tomorrow at the LGBT NewFest in New York City) but it's handling is so matter of fact that if people weren't making a big deal about it it wouldn't really register on the radar. While I highly approve of the film simply adding it to the mix of Christina's life, I also realize that if it wasn't trumpeted this film would very rapidly fall between the cracks and disappear.

Following the life of Christina from before her coronation on through her abdication, THE GIRL KING is a kind of sumptuous looking PBS film that really should have been a mini-series. Reducing down the court intrigue to a few key points the film never has the meatiness that one would have liked. I was kind of hoping to see more of Christina's battles across the board. To be honest so much was going on in her court that you could make a many season mini-series out of it and not have to add in anything.

One of the biggest problems with the film is that it is in English. While I delighted that I could watch the film and take in all of the visual delights without having to glance at the words at the bottom of the screen, I was kind of cringing at some of the verbal twists the script required the actors to perform. The problems with the script is that it was written in French and then translated into English where a cast of largely non-English speaking actors delivered the lines. While this no doubt made the film more salable across the globe it also made for very uneven performances with some actors not getting the inflections right.

I need to point out I don't hate or even remotely dislike THE GIRL KING. I think it's a solid little film that looks absolutely stunning. My reservations about the film come more from disappointment rather than anything else. I wanted something more about the films subject. Additionally while I love that the film deftly handles Christina's sexuality, I really hate that it is being brought to the forefront since to me there is more to the film than that. I very much do recommend the film for those wantinfg a very good film, especially a well dressed one.

Coming to theaters in December. The film screens tomorrow the 25th at NewFest in New York City and tickets and more information can be had here.

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