The Girl King

The Girl King

Mika Kaurismäki (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Greta Garbo and Liv Ullmann may both have played her on screen, but Sweden's 17th-century Queen Kristina still remains largely unknown outside Scandinavia. Both progressive and lesbian at a time when neither was acceptable, she fought what was ultimately a losing battle against both conservative Swedish prejudice and the pressure for her to marry and produce a male heir. Swedish actress Malin Buska plays Kristina in this handsomely mounted biopic. Canadian actress Sarah Gadon (A Royal Night Out) plays her lady-in-waiting and soulmate. And Scandi superstar Michael Nyqvist, from the Dragon Tattoo films, plays the chancellor who's caught between the rock of Swedish stolidity and the hard place of Kristina's feminism and sexuality. All are just right. If the film has a fault, it's that it maybe attempts to cover too much territory within its relatively modest running time. Otherwise, this is superior and hugely watchable costume drama.


A six-year-old princess is crowned queen of Sweden in the 16th century, and grows up to be a fiercely intelligent ruler, determined to modernise her kingdom. She faces opposition from her courtiers, who seek to force her into marriage, but finds solace in an affair with her lady-in-waiting - a relationship her enemies hope to exploit. Fact-based historical drama, starring Malin Buska and Sarah Gadon. In French, German and English.

Cast & Crew

Queen Kristina Malin Buska
Countess Ebba Sparre Sarah Gadon
Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna Michael Nyqvist
Count Johan Oxenstierna Lucas Bryant
Countess Erika Erksein Laura Bim
Ambassador Pierre Hector Chanut Hippolyte Girardot
René Descartes Patrick Bauchau
Maria Eleonora Martina Gedeck
Director Mika Kaurismäki
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Other Information

Language: English, French, German +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Peccadillo PicturesGuidance: A sex scene, nudity, some swearing.Released on: 17 Jun 2016