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A Royal Affair (2012)

En kongelig affære (original title)
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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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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 36 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
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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:

Their love affair would divide a nation. 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:

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's director, Nikolaj Arcel, made a Director's Statement for the picture. It reads: "A ROYAL AFFAIR is based on one of the most dramatic events in Denmark and indeed European history; whenever I used to pitch the film to foreign investors, people had a hard time believing that the story was true, that these momentous events had actually happened in the late 1700's. In Denmark however, it is taught in school, more than 15 books have been written about it (both factual and fictional) and there has even been an opera and a ballet. I feel honored and extremely lucky to finally bring the full story to the screen. Tonally, I was inspired by the great epics from the 40's and 50's where films would often feel like literary works, structured around characters and the passage of time, and not clearly following the obvious screenplay roadmaps. But my creative team and I were also fired up by the idea of bringing the Scandinavian historical drama into the new century. We wanted to achieve this by adhering to a self-imposed rule; we didn't want to "show" history, didn't want to dwell pointlessly on the big official events, the fancy dresses and hairdos, or the way the food was served. Rather, we wanted people to simply experience the story through the eyes of the characters, taking the 1760's for granted. Even though the period is obviously there in the set designs, the costumes it was filmed and edited as we would have filmed and edited a film taking place in modern Copenhagen. Finally, Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Auforts' beautiful score has brought the film full circle, and home to its epic roots. - Nikolaj Arcel, Director / Writer". 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

[first lines]
Caroline Mathilde: [writing a letter] I'm trying to remember him. Johann. I have to tell you about him. About us. Why we did the things we did.
Caroline Mathilde: My beloved children, you do not know me, but I am your mother. Perhaps you have never forgiven me. Perhaps you hate me. I hope not. I now know that I will never see you again, so I am writing to tell you the truth, before it's too late.
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Soundtracks

Sinfonia nazionale nel gusto di 5 nazioni: I. Tedesco: Andantino
Music by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (as Carl Dittersdorf)
(P) Zentropa Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Heartrending and commendable Danish epic..."
25 June 2012 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Danish screenwriter and director Nikolaj Arcel's fourth feature film which he co-wrote with Danish screenwriter Rasmus Heisterberg, is based on the novel "Prinsesse af blodet" from 2000 by Danish author Bodil Steensen-Leth and somewhat inspired by the novel "The Visit of the Royal Physician" from 1999 by Swedish author Per Olov Enquist. It premiered In competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on locations in the Czech Republic and Germany and is a Denmark-Sweden-Czech Republic-Germany co-production which was produced by Danish producers Meta Louise Foldager, Louise Vesth and Sisse Graum Jørgensen. It tells the story about Caroline Mathilde, a young woman who leaves her family in Britain and marries her cousin king Christian VII of Denmark. Though becoming aware that her husband is mentally ill Caroline remains loyal to her partner, but when a German doctor named Johann Friedrich Struensee is hired as the royal physician to the monarch she is invigorated by his controversial views and a new passion is awakened in her.

Finely and engagingly directed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, this finely tuned and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated by the main character and mostly from her point of view, draws a mindful and gripping portrayal of the relations between a king, a queen and a German physician during the age of enlightenment in the late 18th century. While notable for its naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, stellar cinematography by Danish cinematographer Rasmus Videbæk, production design by Danish production designer Niels Sejer, costume design by Danish costume designer Manon Rasmussen and use of colors and light, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven story which is inspired by real events and which is brilliantly narrated from multiple viewpoints, examines themes like friendship, love, betrayal, class distinctions and contradicting ideals, depicts three dense and merging studies of character and contains a good and timely score by Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared and French composer Cyrille Aufort.

This political, historic, romantic, at times humorous and intriguing period piece about the experiences of the young queen Caroline Mathilde of Denmark and Norway who also was a member of the royal British family and her passionate relationship with regent Johann Friedrich Struensee, which was chosen as Denmark's submission to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, quick-witted dialog, emphatic and poignant acting performances by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, Danish actors Mads Mikkelsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard in his debut feature film role and the fine supporting acting performances by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm and Swedish actor David Dencik. A heartrending and commendable Danish epic about social conflict and royal intrigue which gained the Silver Bear for Best Actor Mikkel Boe Følsgaard and Best Script Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg at the 62nd Berlin Film Festival in 2012.


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