Beautiful, interesting, incredible cinema.

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Bavaria’s King Ludwig II, one of history’s most complicated figures, is a loner tormented by unrequited love for his cousin, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, an obsession with the music of Richard Wagner, and excessive state-funded expenditures.

Our take

Italian cinema’s luminary of melodrama, Luchino Visconti, directs this sublime treatment of Bavarian King Ludwig’s life on a most baroque canvas. Without a minute wasted, Ludwig is a lovingly decadent submergence into a complicated life torn between the beauty of art and the power of rule.