With Lars von Trier helping on the script, it should have told itself. Instead, and despite the lush cinematography and solid performances from the main actors, the movie feels disjointed. The relationships, personal and political, are orchestrated to appear brittle and futile, whilst the enlightenment ideals raging elsewhere in Europe feel remarkably distant, not imminently relevant.
All this might be acceptable as an intentionally made comment on the vagaries and dangers of change. As it is, it seems too much like the passionless musing of another Danish royal: “To be, or not to be” is indeed the question.
A Royal Affair (Die Königin und der Leibarzt) | Directed by Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany 2012) with Alicia Vikander, Mikkel Følsgaard, Mads Mikkelsen. Starts April 19