New Year Movie Review

My son and his fiancee left on New Year’s Eve to head down to the southern part of the state to see her parents and a job interview for him. Since the younger son was hanging out with friends and the spouse was at work, I indulged myself in one of my favorite things for inspiration. I took in a flick. I love foreign language films and luckily, there’s an art house cinema near me that shows them periodically. Recent choices have been one called The Flat which was a documentary and very intriguing as well as sad. The one I saw on the 31st was a Danish film called A Royal Affair. I was quite proud of the film makers in this one that they stuck pretty close to the true story which most bio-pics don’t do so well.

Anyway, this film was about King Christian VII of Denmark and his English wife, Caroline. She came to Denmark as his queen at a young age (as they did back then)- it’s set in the 1760s and shows the life at court during that time. It focuses on the relationship of the king with his personal physician and the affair between the doctor and the queen. It shows how the physician tried to bring about enlightenment for the masses, to make reforms. It also shows how a mentally ill sovereign was manipulated by all sides. Tragic really.

It’s also very interesting to me that poor Queen Caroline was the sister of George III of England who was mentally ill and she was married to her cousin, King Christian who was also mentally ill. How terrible for her. She lived a very short life, dying in her twenties. She was an unlucky lady subject to all the vagaries of law back then and had no real control over her own destiny. I, for one, am glad things have changed.

I recommend this film. This is the second one I’ve seen with the actor who plays the doctor, Mads Mikkelsen. He’s an excellent actor. Another one he’s in deals with Danish resistance fighters in WWII and it’s called Flammen and Citronen. It’s quite good as well.

Happy New Year. Jump out of your comfort zone and catch a flick in a language you don’t understand- I think you’ll find that you like them.

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14 responses to “New Year Movie Review

  1. I hate to say it, but that would be out of my comfort zone. I’ll give seeing a foreign film some thought. I love the idea of foreign films and am happy to support the genre, as well as all the arts. It’s just that, when I watch or go to a movie, I tend to want to be entertained and not have to work at it. However, it’s probably like the opera, though. I scoffed at that…until I went to one. Wow! 🙂

    • It’s funny; Laurie, you get so engrossed in the story that you forget you’re reading. I recommend THE BLACK BOOK as a first one to dip your toe into. It’s so good and very fast paced. You truly will forget you’re reading the words.

  2. I’ve seen a few foreign films and agree that I forget I’m reading captions if they are really good. As for movie’s on New Years, the kids and I used to do it as back then we were a one TV family and Jack had the football games on.

  3. Oh, I saw this one, on the library shelves; will have to try it out. I am in the middle of nowhere, (intellectually), but fortunately, someone in town has the foresight to subscribe to the Film Movement series and shares them with the library.Some are so good, some rip your heart out and some leave you asking if you’ll ever try to watch another movie , foreign or otherwise, again!
    I have seem Mads several times and I can tell you, you have to see,”After the Wedding” with him in the lead.He plays a Danish man who lives in India and runs a home for boys.He has a chance at a wonderful grant from a Danish millionaire, but he has to travel to Denmark to make a second proposal, as the man must get back for his daughter’s wedding.The man seems to like Mads but keeps holding him off and insists that he stay to attend the wedding.All is not as it seem, but… I love this movie!

  4. I like the sound of this movie, Jillian. I also recommend The Black Book and agree that you soon forget you’re reading when the story takes over.

  5. Valerie J. Patterson

    I like foreign films too, though have only seen a couple. As you become absorbed in the flick, you forget you’re reading the subtitles.

    Happy 2013 to you, Jillian! 😛

  6. Not a great lover of films with subtitles but then find once I start, I soon become engrossed. Thought for new year – I must be more adventurous.

  7. Great post. I was quite unfamiliar with the background story to this film, until I read your post. I think ‘A Royal Affair’ is an exceptional film, and I regard it as far superior than ‘Anna Karenina’ or ‘The Duchess’ with Knightley. I regard it on the same standing as ‘Elizabeth’ with Blanchett, and am so glad that it was nominated for Oscars award for Best Foreign film.

    • I agree that it so deserved the Oscar nomination, Diana. It was much better than the two Keira Knightly ones. The Elizabeth one with Blanchett was good but the producers/writers moved a lot of the historical facts around to suit them. Lol. Still, it was a magnificent film.

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