Starring: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
Running Time: 130 minutes
Extras: Interviews with Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, and Mickolaj Arcel. Trailer
Let’s get this out of the way: A ROYAL AFFAIR is film-making of the highest quality. From top-to-toe it drips with class and demands your attention. According to director Nickolaj Arcel the film is worryingly close to the true story of the Danish royal family in the late 1700: A ROYAL AFFAIR focuses on Queen Caroline (Vikander), who is moved from England to take the throne next to King Christian VII (Folsgaard) an eccentric monarch she has never met. Meeting his newly appointed physician Johann Struensee (Mikkelsen) Caroline begins an affair that would change Danish history forever.
Based on Bodil Steensen-Leth’s novel ‘Prinsesse Af Blodet’ and adapted for the screen by director Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg (2009’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) it is impossible to relay the qualities of A ROYAL AFFAIR without sounding like a heavily bribed reviewer or an undercover producer – but here goes. At the forefront of the film are three of the deepest, most complicated, and empathetic performances in recent years: Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander sparkle as the lovelorn adulterers and in spite of their actions we never dislike them, but it is Mikkel Boe Flsgaard as King Christian – eccentric, arrogant, seemingly stupid – that asks the most questions during the films duration; never sure how to interpret Christian’s actions you’ll find yourself wondering if everything is an act – his fondness for the theatrical is mentioned numerous times. Adding to the theatricality are the glorious sets capturing every detail of the 18th Century and shown off wonderfully by Rasmus Videbæk cinematography – never scared to stand off the action he allows the actors to do their work and the costumes to shine.
A ROYAL AFFAIR is magnificent, wondrous, and entertaining. It will make you question many things: religion, mental health, seniority, and will leave you with a feeling of breathlessness as a result of the pulsating final 25 minutes. Winner of Best Actor for Folsgaard, and best screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival A ROYAL AFFAIR will win many more awards and deserves every last one…. where’s my money?
Extras: Interviews with Mikkelsen and Vikander, along with director Arcel are very pleasant; although the camera jutting is slightly annoying.