7.6/10
40,902
84 user 229 critic

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.

Director:

Nikolaj Arcel

Writers:

Bodil Steensen-Leth (novel), Rasmus Heisterberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,954 ( 122)

Alicia Vikander Through the Years

Take a look back at the career of Alicia Vikander on and off the big screen.

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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 ... Caroline Mathilde
Mads Mikkelsen ... Johann Friedrich Struensee
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard ... Christian VII
Trine Dyrholm ... Juliane Marie
David Dencik ... Ove Høegh-Guldberg
Thomas W. Gabrielsson ... Schack Carl Rantzau
Cyron Melville ... Enevold Brandt (as Cyron Bjørn Melville)
Bent Mejding Bent Mejding ... J. H. E. Bernstoff
Harriet Walter ... Augusta - Princess of Wales
Laura Bro ... Louise von Plessen
Søren Malling ... Hartmann
Jacob Lohmann ... Juliane's Officer (as Jakob Ulrik Lohmann)
Søren Spanning Søren Spanning ... Munter
Frederik Christian Johansen Frederik Christian Johansen ... Arveprinsen
John Martinus John Martinus ... Reventlow
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Facebook | See more »

Language:

Danish | English | German | French

Release Date:

29 March 2012 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A Royal Affair See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,212, 11 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,546,761

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,758,997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian VII jokingly refers to Johann Friedrich Struensee as 'King of Prussia' throughout the film. Funnily enough, if the widely spread theory that Princess Louise Augusta was in fact Struensee's daughter is true, Struensee's great-great-granddaughter would later actually marry the King of Prussia, Wilhelm II. What would then have been Struensee's great-great-great-grandson and direct descendant, Wilhelm, would himself have become King of Prussia had it not been for the fall of the German monarchy as a result of WWI. See more »

Goofs

During the king's first meeting with the doctor the king says he likes "hookers with big breasts". The word hooker applied to prostitutes was not used until a century later. 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

Referenced in Sean Bradley Reviews: The Dark Tower (2017) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Exquisitely made dramatic knockout
28 November 2012 | by dbogosian-1See 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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