The Girl King

Directed by Mika Kaurismaki
2015
Finland
86 mins

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’s epic 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), 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 Chatterley), François Arnaud (I Killed My Mother, Schitt's Creek), and more.

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