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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

A Royal Affair (review)

A Royal Affair green light Alicia Vikander Mads Mikkelsen

I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Yeah, women are drawn to power. Uh-huh. Which is why this queen — married to, hello, the king, already the most powerful man in the land — risks everything for a man of low social stature who thinks, who reads, who has ideas about social justice. Mandatory smallpox vaccination for the children? Rights for peasants? Cutting the military budget in half? Ooo baby. I’m not even being sarcastic. Based on a true story of the time when overprivileged royalty were getting their heads guillotined off — a lesson, ahem, we might want to heed today — this is the tale of 1770s English princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander: Anna Karenina) who got married off to the perverted, demented, idiotic Danish king Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) only to fall in love instead with his personal physician (Mads Mikkelsen: The Three Musketeers), who has radical ideas about saving peasant babies and whatnot. They had hot steamy sex and influenced the king to change Denmark into something closer to the socialist hellhole it is today. So awesome. They loved this film — directed and cowritten by Nikolaj Arcel, who adapted the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, and based on a novel by Bodil Steensen-Leth [Amazon U.K.] — at the Berlin Festival, and it’s Denmark’s official submission to the upcoming Oscars in the Best Foreign-Language Film category, so you could get a leg up on the office pool while oogling gorgeous Natalie Portman-esque Vikander and next-big-Euro-boyfriend Mikkelsen, whom you’ve previously only seen as a Hollywood villain but who brings the heroic sexy here. Rich people challenging the status quo? Socialism as cool and radical? Is this a fantasy realm? No, it’s 250 years ago. And it’s a revolutionary reminder of something that Hollywood ignores: that talking about books and ideas is sexy, and that caring about poor people will get you laid. In case you need some help in that area.

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A Royal Affair (2012)
US/Can release: Nov 9 2012
UK/Ire release: Jun 15 2012

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated RRP (contains royal rumpy-pumpy)
MPAA: rated R for sexual content and some violent images
BBFC: rated 15 (contains infrequent strong sex references and moderate sex)

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • bronxbee

    there’s all kinds of power — the power of a man with a commitment or passion is a pretty strong one.

  • RogerBW

    Not terribly historical, one suspects – particularly since it seems that Struensee may also have been carrying on with Elisabeth von Eyden, at least at first – but I’m very surprised to learn that the film omits Caroline’s penchant for going about in male clothing; it’s well-attested, and if the costumes were at all accurate would make a really good point about freedom.

  • 2face

    Your political analysis is interesting. He starts of with good intensions of helping the poor. And ends up trying to off people that are opposing him. Socialists in Sovjet Union started out helping the workers and ended up sending people opposing them to Siberia. Helping the poor is a noble cause. It also happens to be a great cover for making a powergrab.

  • True. But with the actual prospect of him actually getting his actual head cut off by your husband, that could diminish the ardor. (Or increase it, too, I guess.)

  • That would have been interesting, but it might have thrown in a tangent that was too distracting.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Based on a true story of the time when overprivileged royalty were getting their heads guillotined off — a lesson, ahem, we might want to heed today…

    Having issues with the British royal family, are we? ;-)

  • Lola

     Do you?

  • Lola

     Not really…

  • Lola

    So again, pure speculation and gossip.

  • RogerBW

    While the von Eyden affair is certainly gossip, the male dress is attested by all credible sources of the period.

  • Actually, I was thinking of all the overprivileged people today.

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