By Contributor
April 20th, 2013

Pomp, melodrama, tragedy, rampant idealism, and illicit love headline the next Spotlight Film presentation, A Royal Affair, showing April 23 at the Gem Theatre. Now, after the hook… the synopsis.

In 1767, the British Princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina) is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) of Denmark. As if being forcefully married to an unpredictable monarch isn’t enough, she must also live in his oppressive country. Christian soon befriends a German physician, Johann Struensee, (Mads Mikkelsen, Clash of the Titans, Casino Royale) an idealistic man of the Enlightenment.

Through Struensee’s influence Christian begins sweeping reforms of Denmark. Caroline falls for the quietly charismatic doctor and they enter into a forbidden and secret affair. The process of reforming Denmark has fostered dangerous conservative enemies who use the relationship between the young queen and the doctor to their advantage. The resulting conflict threatens more than just the two lovers.

This gripping tale of the power of love amidst the power of the unscrupulous has won and been nominated for several awards, including being nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars; won Best Script for Nikolaj Arcel, director (screenplay The Girl With The Golden Tatoo) and Rasmus Heisterberg at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival and Best Actor for Folsgaard at the same festival; won Best Costume Design, Satellite Awards; nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 70th Golden Globes, as well as nominations for a number of other awards.

This story is based on the events surrounding Struensee’s time in the Danish court from the book by Per Olav Enquist, The Visit of the Royal Physician and from the perspective of the queen, Caroline Mathilde, as told in the erotic novel, Princesse af blodet, by Bodil Steensen-Leth.

The film has sub-titles and will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Gem Theatre in Grand Forks.

Thanks to Internet Movie Database, Rotten Tomatoes, and Wikipedia.

Thanks also to Maureen and Marius Paquet of the Gem Theatre and the supporters and sponsors.