Magazine article U.S. Catholic

A Royal Affair

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

A Royal Affair

Article excerpt


Directed by Nikolaj Arcel (Magqnolia Pictures, 2012)


Danish director Nikolaj Arcel's historical romance, nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, tells how a German country doctor who became the private physician of the king of Denmark and the secret lover of the queen--nearly managed to single-handedly bring a backward nation into the Enlightenment.

The story opens as the teenaged Queen Caroline (Alicia Vikander) arrives from England to wed King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard). Christian proves to be an infantile imbecile uninterested in governance or marriage and soon deserts his pregnant wife and medieval country for a whirlwind tour of Europe's capitals. On the road he is assigned Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) as a personal physician, who loves to womanize and drink with his employer.

As it turns out, Johann is also a man of letters, and his luggage is filled with the works of Enlightenment writers like Voltaire and Rousseau. …

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