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A Royal Affair (2012)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 11

A Royal Affair is a lavish and sumptuous costume drama with a juicy story to back it up.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 5

A Royal Affair is a lavish and sumptuous costume drama with a juicy story to back it up.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 15,490

My Rating

Movie Info

A ROYAL AFFAIR is the true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen's heart and starts a revolution. Centering on the intriguing love triangle between the ever more insane Danish King Christian VII, the royal physician who is a man of enlightenment and idealism Struensee and the young but strong Queen Caroline Mathilda, A ROYAL AFFAIR is the gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in their pursuit of freedom for their people.(c) Magnolia Pictures

Mar 26, 2013


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All Critics (99) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (11) | DVD (1)

For all its incident, A Royal Affair is slow and picturesquely framed - more of a languorously animated coffee-table book than a gripping drama.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film ends not on a happy note, naturally, but on a moment of hope. Love may not conquer all, but it has a power all its own.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although the brazen lovers, bellicose ministers and backstabbing handmaidens are familiar elements, the film is so handsomely mounted that we happily endure the ride until the turning of the screws in the tragic last act.

January 17, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps there's only so much to be done with a costume drama about illicit affairs and would-be coups.

January 2, 2013 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a piece of work is this historical drama.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Royal Affair covers plenty of stately ground, all in good time.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A well-crafted drama about three flawed individuals who changed the course of history in Denmark.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Out of some dry lines, Shakespearean allusions, and its playing with statecraft as stagecraft, this slowly emerges as more than just some ruffle-collared, frilly-cuffed throne-porn-there's a sharp quill and glinting eye behind the gilt-edged curtain.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The performances are powerful and the set pieces are exquisite, but the conclusion will leave you feeling enormously agitated thanks to what seems like the encouragement of thickheadedness.

February 8, 2013 Full Review Source:

Denmark's Oscar nominee is a fact-inspired historical melodrama, but it's intriguing, elegantly shot, and well acted by the actors forming the romantic triangle.

February 6, 2013 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The heady mix of power, politics, ideology, romance and corsets is a rare, royal feast.

February 5, 2013 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

It's all high-drama and in the hands of director Arcel, every little knot in this detailed needlepoint is handled to period perfection.

February 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

A sumptuous slice of period drama and real-life palace intrigue.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

...a splendid demonstration of the old adage that political films are really not about the time they are set in, but the time in which they are made.

January 19, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Gorgeously photographed if familiarly constructed, it's more or less catnip for urban foreign film aficionados and the NPR set, breathing life into period piece lust and intrigue.

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

The characters in the story are interesting, even if they are not quite as interesting as the historical people on which the characters in this film are based.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

In the immortal words of King Louis XVI -- or was it Mel Brooks? -- it's good to be the king.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Despite the presence of illicit sex, insanity, a smallpox epidemic and a climactic double beheading, this is a rather bloodless 'Affair.'

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Arcel directs with sympathy for all three of the main characters and doesn't make pure villains of the others.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

It is certainly competent, lovely to look at, but leaves little lasting impression.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Sometimes falling in love can really change the world or at least the fate of a nation.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: KC Active
KC Active

Audience Reviews for A Royal Affair

A very compelling drama based on the true story of King Christian VII, and his influential personal physician. Excellent acting, and a good story which is largely historically accurate, as far as I have read. Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic, as usual...
June 25, 2013

Super Reviewer

Danish King Christian VII's personal physician has an affair with the queen.
A lush, with beautiful costumes and exquisite set design, and sprawling epic, this film is extraordinary. The three primary characters, portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, and Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, are compelling and interesting. Struensee's commitment to post-Enlightenment ideals and steely eyed romanticism make for a compelling leading man, and he perfectly complemented by Caroline's steadfastness. Christian VII is much like George III, and both make interesting characters.
I learned a ton about Denmark and Danish history, and the conflict between religion and progress, faith and science makes for a timeless story.
Overall, I enjoyed this film immensely, and all baseball fans will be distracted by how similar Mikkelsen looks compared to Freddy Garcia.
June 13, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Beautiful and enthralling.
May 14, 2013

Super Reviewer

What could have been a sentimental and pompous period drama, turns out to be an engaging character study, which seamlessly merges politics, social commentary, and romance in a rich tapestry of gorgeous design. Vikander is a young English flower plucked away to marry the King of Denmark. That would be all fine and dandy if not for the fact that the King isn't all there. At times he acts childish and shy, and others he is a loud and obnoxious creep. Boe gives an exhilarating performance, never forgetting to keep an essence of sympathy, even when bragging about sex with prostitutes and allowing his jealousy to confine his new queen. Into this, not quite so happy union steps Mikkelsen. A surgeon appointed as a spy to some anti-royals, who eventually falls for the queen. It's like a romantic period The Departed. A friendship, of some sorts, does grow between Mikkelsen and Boe, which adds to the tragedy of betrayal. Incredible costumes and sets transport us to the time, and the performances and writing keep a well paced drama strictly on course. Great stuff.
February 24, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Johann Friedrich Struensee: I think some people are so sealed inside their fate that they hide deep within their mind.
    – Submitted by Ahmad M (16 months ago)
    1. Johann Friedrich Struensee: I am one of you.
    – Submitted by Emma B (21 months ago)
    1. Johann Friedrich Struensee: I can do exactly as I wish.
    – Submitted by Emma B (21 months ago)
    1. Queen Caroline Mathilda: You recognized me.
    2. Johann Friedrich Struensee: I would recognize you blind folded.
    – Submitted by Emma B (21 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Königin und der Leibarzt (DE)
  • A Royal Affair (En kongelig affaere) (UK)
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