THEY CHANGED A NATION FOREVER.
In the 1760s, a German physician (Mads Mikkelsen) influences both the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) and his unhappy British bride (Alicia Vikander). The director made the political drama King’s Game (2004) exciting and returns for another fascinating study of power, this time the battle between conservative values (represented by the Danish nobility) and the Age of Reason (whose ideals are promoted by the German doctor). Exquisitely shot, with the Czech Republic standing in for 18th century Denmark, and well acted; Vikander (who is Swedish but learned her lines in Danish) is good in her international breakthrough.
2012-Denmark-Czech Republic-Sweden-Germany. 138 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Meta Louise Foldager, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Louise Vesth. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. Screenplay: Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel. Novel: Bodil Steensen-Leth. Cinematography: Rasmus Videbaek. Cast: Alicia Vikander (Caroline Mathilde), Mads Mikkelsen (Johann Friedrich Struensee), Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (Christian VII), Trine Dyrholm, David Dencik, Thomas Gabrielsson.
Trivia: Original title: En kongelig affaere. Co-executive produced by Lars von Trier.
Berlin: Best Actor (Følsgaard), Screenplay.
Last word: “The hardest night of the shoot, and probably my life, was to do the ballroom scenes. There are three ballroom scenes and we had to shoot them all in one night which is crazy. There were these huge windows all over, and we had to shoot everything at night because we had to use the candlelight, and it was all night scenes. The problem was that we were a little bit behind [schedule] because we had so many shots that we had to do, so many big acting [scenes], the dance, and the first time when they notice they’re falling in love. But the sun was coming up, and we still had five or six shots to do, and you can’t put screens on huge ballroom windows. We had no chance. We were basically running away from the sun.” (Arcel, Collider)