overly modernized portrait of Elisabeth of Bavaria (on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD)

Artistic note: a red stara red stara red starhalf red stargray star(3.5/5)


A tomboy and duchess, Elisabeth of Bavaria, known as Sissi, lived a busy life before becoming an icon in Europe and around the world. As Sissi’s sister, Nene, is about to marry Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, Sissi is hesitant to travel to Bad Ischl for the engagement before finally falling into a dangerous ambush…

• Original title: Sisi
• Tested on media: Blu-ray
• Genre: mini-series, historical, drama
• Year: 2021
• Director: Sven Bose
• Cast: Dominique Davenport, Markus Grusser, Yannick Schumann, David Korbmann, Jokubas Gutautas, Desiree Nosbusch, Julia Stemberger, Pauline Renevier, Tanja Schleiff, Paula Kober, Markus Grusser
• Duration: 5 h 09 min 35 (52 min 35, 52 min 49, 51 min 02, 51 min 02, 51 min 05, 51 min 02)
• Video format: 16:9
• Film format: 2.20/1
• Subtitles: French
• Soundtracks: DTS-HD MA 5.1, German, French.
• Bonus: behind the scenes filming (10 min 01) – interview with Dominic Davenport (1 min 54) and Yannick Schumann (9 min 58) – the life of a prince and princess (2 min 08) – on set with Dominic Davenport (2 min 16) – Costumes (4 min 32) – Quiz (8 min 36) – Together on set (1 min 22) – Become Sissy (0 min 41) – Become Franz (0 min 36)
• Publisher: L’Atelier d’Images

Artistic commentary

Sisi, created and directed by Sven Bose, is a six-part German mini-series filmed in Germany (Bavaria), Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Budapest and Italy. The life of Elisabeth of Wittelsbach, nicknamed Sissi, who became Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, inspired this ambitious production, which aims to modernize the young empress to adapt her to modern rules, including female emancipation, family, sex. This new approach, which requires some freedom in relation to historical reality, clearly distances itself from the famous trilogy (1955-1957) by Ernst Marischka, which made the actress Romy Schneider famous and offered a smooth and polished portrait, ignoring extremes and instability. this marked the life of Sissi. Formally Sisi the advantage of a very beautiful photograph by Michael Schreitel, who uses magnificent natural settings (even if the shooting was not exactly in authentic castles), however, due to the editing and choice of staging, there are too many kinds of repetitive aerial views of Vienna and a clear tendency to shoot galloping horses and carriages on ground level. What’s more, the entire series is pleasing to the eye: dresses, jewelry, interiors, etc. are recreated with great luxury of funds and the talent of many artists (see bonus). Casting is hard to keep up with: casting Sissi as Romy Schneider and many other actresses was not easy, but the choice of Dominique Davenport, whose filmography is still small, is justified: physically close enough to her model, the young actress embodies the sovereign with real intensity. The equally complex role of Francis Joseph I is interpreted by another German actor, Yannick Schumann, who is more accustomed to TV films and serials, who turns the young emperor into a romantic character with conflicting feelings. However, minor roles are not neglected, in particular, Count Grünne (David Korbmann) and Fanny the prostitute (Paula Kober) or Maximilian of Bavaria, Sissi’s father (Markus Grusser). This first season tells about Sissi’s youth and her accession to the throne, about her difficult relationship with a young husband who does not disdain relationships outside of marriage, about her natural independence, opposing her to the oppression of the court and the shackles of etiquette. Against the backdrop of Sissi’s life, we can guess the political unrest, conflicts (Napoleon III) and wars that marked the early years of the reign of Francis Joseph I, symbolized by a few short epic scenes with sometimes abusive slow motion. and representation is often limited. If the portrayals of historical characters are very successful in the series, the over-dramatization is sometimes not very believable, especially in so many completely fictional sex scenes that are meant to be relevant, but do more harm than enrich. Empress. Why invent for her a prostitute-mistress and confidante (Fanny existed, but she was a hairdresser: Franziska Feyfalik), when Elizabeth’s real life was quite eventful: these artificial additions smack of concern for showrunner create a trendy series that abuses history under the guise of naturalism. Sisi reflects current issues clearly and rereads events and characters to suit a prosaically gendered approach to facts. Questionable for historians Sisi nonetheless offers a very entertaining vision of the splendor and misery of the Austrian court for a young woman with a strong personality, whose legend has not yet ended with cinematic versions. Sissimania did not wait for the Romy Schneider trilogy to develop into cinema from the 1920s and continue today with another series. empress with Devrim Linghau (Sissy) is scheduled for Netflix.

Blu-ray Sissy S1

Technical comment

Painting : HD copy, very good resolution and impeccable sharpness except for occasional digital effects on textures (sets, costumes), effective contrast management with very bright images and detailed highlights, pure blacks, shimmering color correction, naturalistic colorimetry with vibrant colors and nuances of tones

His : German 5.1 mix, clear and balanced dialogues, excellent atmospheric dynamics (coaches, cavalcades, battles) and epic music by Jessica de Rooy, open spatial organization for effective sonic immersion, extensive use of LFE; VF 5.1, clear, dynamic, very accurate dubbing

Our opinion

Painting : a red stara red stara red stara red stargray star(4/5)
Sound mixes: blue Starblue Starblue Starblue Stargray star(4/5)
Bonuses: a red stara red stara red stargray stargray star(3/5)
Package: blue Starblue Starhalf blue stargray stargray star(2.5/5)

IMDb : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11269100/

Blu-ray and DVD available on Amazon

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