Sponsored by San Francisco Chronicle | SF Gate
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Følsgaard, Alicia Vikander, David Dencik
Produced by: Meta Louise Foldager, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Louise Vesth
Denmark’s history was transformed forever by an 18th-century power triangle: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), the oafish king; Caroline (Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina), his English bride; and Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen, Casino Royale), the German doctor whose presence managed to both humanize and compromise the royal couple. A child of the Enlightenment, the royal physician finds a kindred spirit (and lover) in the progressively minded queen. In showing empathy for the king’s social difficulties, Johann ascends to a position of trusted advisor and an instrument for major social and scientific change in the country. With meticulous period trappings in place, Nikolaj Arcel’s gorgeous and provocative film explores the sensual and intellectual underpinnings of the adulterous couple—a union that had dire repercussions for the nation, but also yielded its greatest hope. A sweeping combination of political maneuvering, lush romanticism and rich characterization make this an affair to remember.
Film Note Writer: Sterling Hedgpeth