A Royal Affair

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A Royal Affair
En kongelig affære | Nikolaj Arcel , 2012
Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic | Danish, German, French with English subtitles | 137 minutes

Due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy, this screening has been canceled.

If you purchased tickets online for this or any other canceled screening, your tickets will automatically be refunded. If you purchased tickets at the box office or you have already redeemed your online purchase, you may refund or exchange your tickets at the Walter Reade Theater or the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box offices when the theaters re-open.

The Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center will be closed as of 6pm on Sunday, October 28 until further notice. Please visit filmlinc.com for updates regarding screenings resuming in both theaters.

At the end of the 18th century, the social and cultural reforms of the Enlightenment have spread across Europe—save for Denmark, which remains very much in the intellectual Dark Ages. The country is presided over by the childlike, possibly mad monarch King Christian VII (remarkable newcomer Mikkel Boe Foelsgaard), who’s markedly less interested in his newlywed queen, Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander), than in his faithful pet hound. Enter physician and Enlightenment thinker Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen), who accepts the King’s invitation to become his personal physician and soon, having “cured” his patient, becomes something more: brother, confidant, advisor, and ultimately a revolutionary force inside the staid royal court. Then the power starts to go to Struensee’s head, as do the come-hither stares of the lonely Queen. Based on true events, director Nikolaj Arcel’s bracingly smart, compulsively entertaining historical drama—Denmark’s official submission to this year’s Academy Awards—traces Struensee’s remarkable ascent, the sweeping social changes he managed to enact (freedom of speech and the press, mass inoculations), and his equally dramatic fall from grace. Handsomely directed, with an emphasis on the era’s grimy reality rather than the frilly extravagance of most period films, A Royal Affair transforms a little-known episode of European history into a timeless study of intelligence and progress at odds with stasis and superstition. The performances are uniformly first-rate, especially Foelsgaard, who won Best Actor at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, where Arcel and co-screenwriter Rasumus Heisterberg also garnered the Best Screenplay award. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Series: Sneak Preview: A Royal Affair

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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