A Royal Affair (2012)

Apparently I should just change these to Film Review Saturdays, because I keep missing Friday. I didn’t know yesterday was Friday. I 100% thought yesterday was Thursday. BUT WHATEVER!


A Royal Affair (2012)
 Dir. Nikolaj Arcel
 Writ. Rasmus Heisterberg
 Stars: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard  
 Rated R
 137 mins.
 Drama, Romance, Non-English
 IMDB 7.6


To start with, I don’t usually watch non-english films, not because I’m all anti-foreign film, but because A) it’s not as easy to hear about them in America, and B) I hate reading subtitles. I have siblings who ALWAYS turn on the closed captions, but I HATE subtitles. I hate having to read something instead of be able to follow the things going on. However, I wanted to watch this movie since I love historical romance and it was very highly rated, and oddly enough, it wasn’t THAT bad of a distraction.

A Royal Affair is a Danish film starring Alicia Vikander (who I hadn’t heard of until this year and now I seem to hear about her all over) as she plays British Princess Caroline, who was married off to King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) of Denmark in 1767. Married to a crazy king, her life becomes very monotonous and dreary, until the King returns from quite a long trip abroad with a new physician, Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen). Stuensee, a man of the Enlightenment. As best friend to the King and lover to the Caroline, Struensee is able to sway Christian into overthrowing his council and taking Denmark from the dark ages into a period of enlightenment and freedom for the people. However, when the Queen becomes pregnant with a child after over a year without the King visiting her bedchambers, their idealistic world begins to fall apart around them.

I had heard of Alicia Vikander from Ex-Machina (I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s been on my to-watch list for ages), and I know Mads Mikkelsen from Casino Royale and Hannibal, I had never heard of Mikkel Boe Følsgaard at all. Alicia Vikander is amazing, just flat out amazing, in this movie. Her performance is staggeringly well done. Mads Mikkelsen is INCREDIBLE in this! He’s a ‘bad guy’ in the other things I’ve seen him in (though I have a lot more of his films where he isn’t on my to watch list, so this will change), so seeing him as a visionary, a father, a lover, it’s just amazing. I’d never seen him doing a really emotional scene before and wow! Just SO amazing. And to have never heard of Mikkel Boe Følsgaard I now wish that I had. He hasn’t been in many things that I can find, but I want to see them all. He’s incredible! Christian is such an interesting character! He’s mad, surely, but he’s not cruel or horrible like you expect. He’s basically a giant, spoiled toddler. With the right people guiding him, he can be good, but with the wrong ones, he isn’t, and it’s all around just really great.

It’s not my favorite historical romance, but it’s a very intriguing story and a beautiful tragedy.

My Rating: 8/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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