The Girl King

2015 | Gender / Genderqueer / Lesbian | 86m | Finland | Germany
Directors: Mika Kaurismaki

This lush English-language period 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.

The film’sepic screenplay by Michel Marc Bouchard ( Lilies, Tom at the Farm ) is brought to the screen by esteemed director Mika Kaurismaki. The Girl King stars Malin Buska ( Easy Money, Happy End ) in the title role as well as Sarah Gadon ( Belle, Enemy, Cosmopolis, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Dracula Untold ), Michael Nyqvist ( Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ), Lucas Bryant ( Haven, The Vow ), Laura Birn ( Purge, Inner Trial ), Hippolyte Giradot ( Lady Chatterly ), and more.

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Reviews and Awards

Winner, Best Actress: Malin Buska, Montreal World Film Festival

Winner, Audience Award, Best Film, Montreal World Film Festival

The Girl King is beautiful… the chemistry between the two women is spot on.” —

“A steamy and sumptuous period piece… this romantic re-imagining doesn’t flinch as the queer queen invites her beautiful handmaiden to be her “bed-warmer” and refuses to don dresses or marry.” —

“There’s more than enough drama, complexity and speculative intrigue in the single decade of Christina’s adult reign to sustain an epic miniseries…The primary focus here is on the monarch’s passionate devotion to lady-in-waiting Countess Ebba Sparre (a wide-eyed Sarah Gadon), whose status becomes a matter of bawdy public rumor even before Christina appoints her official ‘bedfellow.’” — Variety

“Very fun.” —