A Royal Affair (2012) Movie Review [9/10]
Review by NJ.com
In 1766, Caroline Matilda, the Princess of Wales, arrived in Denmark to wed her cousin, King Christian VI of Denmark. She was 15, and a virgin. He was 17, and quite mad. It was not a storybook marriage.
It was, however, a nearly foolproof recipe for a tragedy – particularly when the king hired a new royal physician, Johann Struensee, a handsome German with some very liberal ideas. Most of his thoughts involved reforming the Danish regime. A few of them concerned romancing the queen.
What happened next is what drives “A Royal Affair,” an interesting if not emotionally overwhelming period piece starring the intense, burning-eyed Mads Mikkelsen as the German interloper.
Review by LA Times
“A Royal Affair” is not as racy as it sounds. This highly polished costume drama is exceptionally well-made and a model of intelligent restraint, but it is also unapologetically earnest and a bit on the bloodless side.
For though the illicit physical passion implied by the title is definitely part of the story, this Danish film (the country’s best foreign-language Oscar entry) is more about a transgressive couple’s zeal for freedom and political reform, which while noble and involving, is not exactly barn-burner material.
Review by Wall Street Journal
With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, “A Royal Affair” is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.
Nicolaj Arcel’s Danish-language film, which he wrote with Rasmus Heisterberg, starts in 1766, with an English girl’s fateful journey to Denmark. Caroline Mathilde, a sister of Britain’s King George III, makes the trip to marry her cousin, the Danish King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), and become his queen. She’s only 15, but already cultivated and accomplished, and Alicia Vikander’s performance spans the next nine years with lovely authority.