In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark, but her life with the erratic monarch in the oppressive country becomes an isolating misery. However, Christian soon gains a fast companion with the German Dr. Johann Struensee, a quietly idealistic man of the Enlightenment. As the only one who can influence the King, Struensee is able to begin sweeping enlightened reforms of Denmark through Christian even as Caroline falls for the d... (Full plot summary below)
In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark, but her life with the erratic monarch in the oppressive country becomes an isolating misery. However, Christian soon gains a fast companion with the German Dr. Johann Struensee, a quietly idealistic man of the Enlightenment. As the only one who can influence the King, Struensee is able to begin sweeping enlightened reforms of Denmark through Christian even as Caroline falls for the doctor. However, their secret affair proves a tragic mistake that their conservative enemies use to their advantage in a conflict that threatens to claim more than just the lovers as their victims. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm ([email protected]
Review & Comments
Leave your thoughts about A Royal Affair.
Wall Street Journal - 9/10 by Joe MorgensternWith its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.
Philadelphia Inquirer - 9/10 by Steven ReaHistorical drama of the highest order - teeming with big ideas, and anchored by the nicely nuanced performances of Vikander and Mikkelsen.
Chicago Sun-Times - 9/10 by Roger EbertA big budget historical drama that carries Denmark's hopes into the Oscar season. It provides still more exposure for the rising Danish star Mads Mikkelsen, the latest male sex symbol of the art house crowd.
NPR - 9/10 by Ella TaylorWhile it's lavish and lush in all the expected costume-drama ways, A Royal Affair never bogs down in period detail. What drives the film, along with great acting, is the appetite of director Nikolaj Arcel and his boisterous co-writer Rasmus Heisterberg ("I want a fun queen!" wails Christian) for the queasy workings of political gamesmanship both above and below board.
USA Today - 9/10 by Claudia PuigTakes a fascinating chapter in Danish history, little-known to general audiences, and presents it engagingly.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 9/10 by Joe WilliamsAlthough the brazen lovers, bellicose ministers and backstabbing handmaidens are familiar elements, the film is so handsomely mounted that we happily endure the ride until the turning of the screws in the tragic last act.
Charlotte Observer - 9/10 by Lawrence ToppmanWriters Rasmus Heisterberg and Nicolaj Arcel are known in America for the original version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." This film is the exact opposite: stately instead of propulsive, emotionally warm instead of chilly, lit by candles and sun instead of flashlights and neon.
Boston Globe - 8/10 by Ty BurrA Royal Affair is tosh but it's ripely entertaining tosh, with emotions as flamboyant as the window treatments. There is nothing like a Dane.
New York Daily News - 8/10 by Elizabeth WeitzmanMikkelsen's unconventional features and intense talent lend a compelling edge to this expansive period piece.
Time - 8/10 by Mary PolsA slam dunk in the genre, satisfying every period piece craving: torrid affair, mad king, bastard child, throngs at the palace gates and a history lesson that will be fresh to many.
Empire - 8/10 by Anna SmithA voluptuous slice of historical drama that will satisfy period fans and Mikkelsen admirers equally.
Entertainment Weekly - 8/10 by Lisa SchwarzbaumThe storytelling in A Royal Affair is traditional bordering on square. But the historical drama itself - about how an idealistic German doctor influenced a silly king, romanced a queen, and brought the Age of Enlightenment to 18th-century Denmark - is kind of amazing.