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Sunday, 15 September 2013

An Affair to Remember

Often grim, but always enthralling period piece directed by Nikolaj Arcel, who co-wrote the screenplay for the original Swedish produciton of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Arcel is favoured by remarkable performances from his leads. The incomparable Mads Mikkelsen is as intense as ever and commands the screen, while Alicia Vikander gives an accomplished performance as the young queen, but Mikkel Følsgaard as 'mad' Christian must be the standout, he is entirely convincing in a role that clearly demanded a considerable range of emotion and temperament. You will recognise numerous other faces and we should continue to be thankful that Scandanavian cinema is deservedly enjoying so much attention, and broadening our viewing horizons, it is such a rich source of material and talent. 'A Royal Affair' is not an easy watch, like so many historical pieces that chart the lives of monarchs and those around them, there is a thick vein of tragedy running through the story. It is not a film likely to be pulled out on a cold winter's evening for its hearwarming properties, but it is a rewarding experience and should open viewers up to seek others works from Scandanavia's increasingly excellent film industry.

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