20 November 2012 12:00 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Not since Ingrid Bergman's 1939 debut in "Intermezzo" has a young Swedish actress made such a splashy transition from her native cinema. In this case, Alicia Vikander, age 24, stars in not one but two award season pictures. Vikander, a trained ballerina who opted to act instead of dance, stars in Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," in the pivotal role of Kitty, who breaks her lover Levin's heart, as well as Danish Oscar entry "A Royal Affair," in which she plays a lonely English noblewoman who marries the King of Denmark. He turns out to be awkward and distant; eventually she falls instead for the radical intellectual doctor who looks after the childish king (another trained dancer, Mads Mikkelsen). It turns out that Vikander's feat starring in a Danish film was more challenging than acting in English, in which she is fluent. "A Royal Affair" director Nicolaj Arcels "couldn't find anyone who had that regal quality, »

- Anne Thompson

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