“A gripping chapter of European history is recounted with elegance, intelligence and clarity in Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s sumptuous costume drama, A Royal Affair, which examines the clash between liberal idealism and reactionary self-interest in a meaty tale of romance, tragedy and court intrigue. Arcel and regular screenwriting partner Rasmus Heisterberg have whittled down a wide tract of events and ideas into an accessible and surprisingly brisk 2¼ hours. This is a fascinating story that is no doubt widely known in Denmark but will be new and suspenseful to all but the most scholarly history eggheads. The film is driven by riveting performances from Mads Mikkelsen, best known internationally as the villain Le Chiffre in Daniel Craig’s Bond debut, Casino Royale; and lovely rising Swedish star Alicia Vikander, next up in Joe Wright’s Tom Stoppard-scripted Anna Karenina”—David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter. In Danish with English subtitles. R. 134 Min.
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