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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