3 June, 2017 | 12:00 am-11:59 pm
Mika Kaurismäki’s (Road North, MVFF 2012; Sonic Mirror, MVFF 2008) handsome 17th-century drama recounts the life of Sweden’s Queen Kristina, a philosophically minded 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 royal attendant. Growing up as a tomboy with a strong intellectual appetite for Descartes, 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 (radiant Sarah Gadon), her lovely lady-in-waiting. For this lush portrait of European history’s most iconic monarch, Kaurismäki assembled an impressive, international cast, including Michael Nyqvist, Hippolyte Girardot, and Martina Gedeck.