Despite some concessions to contemporary realism (backlighting, handheld camera), this Scandinavian coproduction is essentially an old-fashioned period spectacle, offering the tried-and-true pleasure of romantic melodrama in fancy costumes. The talented young actress Alicia Vikander plays Caroline Matilda of Great Britain, bride to the mentally unstable King Christian VII of Denmark; Mads Mikkelsen is Johann Friedrich Struensee, the German doctor who enters the king's inner circle, inspires him to enact progressive reforms, and has an affair with the queen. This is more convincing as a romance than as a history lesson; in familiar biopic shorthand, every opponent of reform is portrayed as scheming, condescending bully. Nikolaj Arcel directed. In Danish and German with subtitles.
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