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A Royal Affair (2012)
"En kongelig affære" (original title)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  29 March 2012 (Denmark)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 27,329 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 70 user | 221 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Enevold Brandt (as Cyron Bjørn Melville)
Bent Mejding ...
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Hartmann
Jakob Ulrik Lohmann ...
Juliane's Officer
Søren Spanning ...
Munter
Frederik Christian Johansen ...
Arveprinsen
John Martinus ...
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They changed a nation forever See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

29 March 2012 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Royal Affair  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$38,212 (USA) (9 November 2012)

Gross:

$1,545,726 (USA) (26 April 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As part of her audition process Nikolaj Arcel took Alicia Vikander out drinking to see how well she could understand Danish. Vikander faked that she could understand and speak it well but at the end of the process when Arcel told her she had the role she didn't understand what he was saying until he switched to Swedish. See more »

Goofs

While all of the characters all speak Danish in the film, the court language in Denmark at the time was actually German. In real life neither Count von Bernstorff nor Johann Struensee spoke any Danish, and it is more than likely that Christian and Caroline also conversed in German rather than the "people's language." See more »

Quotes

Johann Friedrich Struensee: Do you remember our first night together?
Caroline Mathilde: It feels like we've been unhappy ever since.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: I have been happy.
Caroline Mathilde: Come to me tonight?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Live fra Bremen: Episode #6.9 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Water Music, HWV 350, Suite No.3 in G Major (III. Minuet)
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
(P) Zentropa Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Exquisitely made dramatic knockout
28 November 2012 | by (Los Angeles, Calif.) – See all my reviews

A fantastic film about a country whose history is seldom portrayed, A Royal Affair is a historical drama set in the latter half of the 18th century in Denmark. An English girl is sent off to marry the Danish king, only to find out that he's not fully sane. In her loneliness she falls for the king's doctor, and they find they share not only amorous feelings for one another, but a passion for Enlightenment ideas and political reforms.

There are a few caricatures in this movie that keep me from giving it a higher score: the reactionary forces are pure, unalloyed evil; the reformers are probably far more liberal in thinking than would have been possible in that era; and the preaching against established religion is a bit thick. But otherwise, this is a gem of a movie with outstanding performances in all three key roles, particularly the doctor who is portrayed with an incredible intensity and realism. Also noteworthy is the king who is not quite sane yet not totally loony either; the acting here is frighteningly good and utterly convincing. Last but not least, the queen excels in showing real pathos and long-suffering endurance trapped in her destiny, and then comes alive beautifully in her relationship with the doctor.

As icing on the cake, costumes are sumptuous, period settings flawless, and the music is era-appropriate and delightfully arcane. Original music is also quite good, though most of the time one is so engrossed in the story that the music just vanishes. Movie is almost all in Danish with English subtitles, and I felt the size/font choice for the titles was too big, too pushy, you never quite forget that you're reading titles.

This is a tale of exploration of the darker side of the human experience: what does it mean to be sane, how can a divinely ordained monarch be deprived of his wits, to what lengths will a person go to promote his/her progeny into power, are the "unwashed masses" really grateful to those who try to emancipate them? This movie (and its three main characters) will haunt you for many days.


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