A Royal Affair (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jun 12 2012

It was produced by Lars von Trier’s film company and its writer/director team adapted the original ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. But don’t go expecting a hornet’s nest of Scandinavian outrage from this chronicle of the political sex scandal that rocked 1770s Denmark. ‘A Royal Affair’ is the definition of classy period drama: well acted, intelligently scripted with a small-ish dose of bodice-ripping. It’s almost impeccable, in fact, if ever-so-slightly underpowered. 
 
It begins, like Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’, with a 15-year-old princess, Caroline (Alicia Vikander), being traded in marriage to a king. Caroline is cultured and educated, while her betrothed is mad King Christian VII of Denmark, a petulant pea-brained ninny. Caroline resigns herself to her fate until doctor – and radical thinker – Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) is appointed as the king’s personal physician. The pair embark on an illicit affair and, with the king as their puppet, plot to take Denmark from the Dark Ages to enlightened utopia, one edict at a time.
 
There’s plenty of authentic-looking historical detail here: a bored doctor oversees the women’s work of delivering Caroline’s baby (‘A true queen delivers in a silence with dignity’). Politically too, we watch the corruption of Struensee’s ideals: when his affair with the queen becomes the butt of satirists’ jokes he rescinds his earlier ban on censorship. All of which is genuinely engrossing, if a little stiff, and it’s only in the drama of the last five minutes that actor-of-the-moment Mikkelsen shows us what he’s really made of. 
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 15, 2012

Duration:

138 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
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USMAN LATIF KHAWAJA

i agree with the comment that this is the only worthwhile movie to see this year so far despite it's flaws because it is actually credible and stays with you for days and i will buy the dvd for sure too -can they put some great features on it too please -merci

Paul

Having sat comatose through Cosmopolis last week it was a pleasure to sit back and let a fascinating story open up and take me on a journey, I left the cinema refreshed feeling that it was a good night out, value for money and the actors engaging taking us back two hundred years. Compare that to the overpaid egotists of Hollywood and it's no contest really, none of the audience walked out tonight and the film is reminds us why we have to edge the bishops out of the Lords and stop the church interfering with our rights hard won under the Enlightenment. Great film, go see it and 3D glasses not needed so you won't be ripped off

Basil Rathbone&#039;s Pipe

I agree with the last comment - most of the publicity for this film dismisses King Christian VII as a retarded man-child, wheras he is in fact very subtly played by Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as a tortured soul who makes all the right choices during the course of the film (though not necessarily for the right reasons). Plus it's a real pleasure to see a historical drama that's actually about something; well-acted, beautifully shot and confidently directed.

usman latif khawaja

mike t is right -except flosgaard as the eccentric somewhat deranged spoilt christian 7 has given a sparkling performance which is very intriguing -the rest is a depressing somewhat pretty but dramatically indifferent history lesson ,5/10

chelseapoet

Political intrigue, a pressure-cooker love story, a subtle investigation of the question of whether someone can choose not to be mad, excellent performances, beautiful photography....the most int elligent and well-made around at the moment. An easy five stars.

chelseapoet

Political intrigue, a pressure-cooker love story, a subtle investigation of the question of whether someone can choose not to be mad, excellent performances, beautiful photography....the most int elligent and well-made around at the moment. An easy five stars.

MikeT

The ever-reliable Cath Clarke sums up this movie well. It’s well cast, well-acted, superbly shot, but something’s missing. Or perhaps I mean there’s too much of something. I appreciate that being a true story, it’s unique in its own right, but it’s the sort of drama that’s been done before. It seemed way longer than it needed to be. Had 20 minutes fallen to the cutting room floor I would have been happy. Given that CC had said it was from Lars von Trier’s film company, I was hoping for something that left a greater impression. It’s worth seeing, given there’s little else on at the moment, but not one I’ll be buying on DVD. Just about 3 stars.