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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:
Alicia Vikander ...
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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:

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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:

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

[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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sinfonia a 4, in B-Flat Major: I. Allegro Assai
Music by Johann Adolf Scheibe (as Johann Scheibe)
(P) Zentropa Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
More than a history lesson
23 June 2012 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

You could dismiss this film as a Danish history lesson but it is more than that. It is a love story with an improbable background in a rather gloomy setting, the Danish Court of the late 18th century. Mad (or at least seriously disturbed) King Christian VII (Mikkel Folsgaard - superbe) marries 16 year old English princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander) who happens to be George III's sister). He prefers the company of his dog and mistress to her. It is not surprising that Caroline falls for Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) who becomes the king's personal physician on the strength of his knowledge of Shakespeare (especially Hamlet). The king is, as they say, easily led, and for a year or so Sturensee, despite being German, has a fine time as de facto ruler enacting liberal measures such as the abolition of serfdom and the repeal of censorship laws, not to mention free smallpox inoculations. But the forces of reaction led by the king's stepmother gather. It was surprising to learn that 18th century Denmark was such a backward society.

Mads Mikkelsen gives a nuanced performance – 'quiet intensity' in fact, and Alicia Vikander is equally intense. They are a serious couple imbued with the ideals of the 18th century Enlightenment but their passion is physical as well as intellectual. Unfortunately their ideals are a little advanced for Denmark of the 1770s despite support from writers such as Voltaire. The local book-burners led by Hoegh-Guldberg (David Dencik) are not swayed by argument of course.

The production is full of atmosphere. The castles are suitably gloomy and there's plenty of medieval squalor beyond the castle gate. Much of the action takes place in winter which adds to the chilly atmosphere. The aristocracy are suitably heartless and the peasants downtrodden. The king provides some zany (if not quite authentic) moments, appointing his Great Dane to his council and ordering Struensee to make Caroline a "fun queen".

This is quite a long movie at 140 minutes yet is enthralling from start to finish. Even though you can guess the ending you are swept along by the story and the performances. You can see why the audiences at Cannes loved it.


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