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A Royal Affair nominated for Oscar Academy Foreign-Language Film

23/12/2012 | By | Reply More

Royal Affair (Danish: En kongelig affære) is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Nikolaj Arcel

Royal Affair

Nikolaj Arcel – The Film Director of the Danish film “A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair has been selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, making the January shortlist.

The 85th Academy Awards ceremony is an upcoming event during which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will present its annual Academy Awards to honor the best films of 2012 in the United States.

The Academy (AMPAS) has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film every year since the award was created in 1956.

The award is presented annually by the Academy to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.

The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Nine shortlisted contenders was announcement of the Oscar nominations on Monday, December 17, 2012.

These films are;

From Austria:Amour (Literally, “Love”) directed by Michael Haneke
From Canada:War Witch (French: Rebelle) directed by Kim Nguyen
From Chile:No (Chilean: No) directed by Pablo Larraín
From Denmark:A Royal Affair (Danish: En kongelig affære) directed by Nikolaj Arcel
From France:The Intouchables (French: Intouchables) directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano
From Iceland:The Deep (Icelandic: Djúpið) directed by Baltasar Kormákur
From Norway:Kon-Tiki (Norwegian historical drama film about the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition) directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
From Romania:Beyond the Hills (Romanian: După dealuri) directed by Cristian Mungiu
From Switzerland:Sister (French: L’Enfant d’en haut) directed by Ursula Meier

Five of these nine Foreign Language films will be finally announced Thursday, January 10, 2013 to take part for the final Oscar award ceremony, in February..

The ceremony is scheduled for February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California.

Seth MacFarlane will host the Academy Awards for the first time.

It is notable that of the nine nominations come three from Scandinavia, for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.

About the Film Director Nikolaj Arcel

Since graduating film school in 2001, Nikolaj Arcel has written 9 films, four of which he directed himself. He is the recipient of multiple awards and is currently the only director with two films on the official Danish top ten B.O. list.

A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair is written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, is a captivating historical tale set in 18th century Denmark inspired by a true story about forbidden love and a political struggle that changes a nation forever.

A Royal Affair is the true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution. Centering on the intriguing love triangle between the ever more insane Danish King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), the royal physician who is a man of enlightenment and idealism Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and the young but strong Queen Caroline Mathilda (Alicia Vikander), A Royal Affair is the gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in their pursuit of freedom for their people. Above all A Royal Affair is the story of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.

Johann Friedrich Struensee, a German-born 18th-century physician and martyr for liberty, is well known to schoolchildren in Denmark. Analogies are imperfect — this critic’s mastery of Danish history even more so — but Struensee, who died a few years before the start of the American Revolution, might be compared to Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. Like other eminent figures of the Age of Reason he was both a politician and a man of science, a philosopher and what we might nowadays call a player.

Lover, fighter, thinker and schemer — that is the portrait that emerges in “A Royal Affair” an Advanced Placement bodice-ripper directed by Nikolaj Arcel. Struensee, played with an intriguing blend of dash and gloom by Mads Mikkelsen, is depicted with a reverence touched by slightly envious admiration. This guy not only reformed the Danish legal code and pushed a backward nation toward the light of modernity. He also slept with the queen!

In retrospect that may not have been such a good idea, but the collision of Enlightenment notions of liberty and aristocratic habits of libertinism seems to have made it inevitable. Also, the lovely, lonely Queen Caroline Mathilda (Alicia Vikander) happened to be married to a childish, obnoxious ninny: His Majesty Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard). Struensee serves devotedly as the young monarch’s adviser, tutor and confidant, filling his head with radical French ideas between visits to the queen’s chambers.

Though “A Royal Affair” is programmatically committed to modernity — to the banishment of superstition and religious authority, to the rule of law and the supremacy of reason — it is in almost every way a decidedly old-fashioned film. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Stately, stagy expositions of history have their place in the world of entertainment, and the acting is both solid and agile, communicating the feelings of passionate people in a passionate time.

But the movie also succumbs to many of the vices of the period film: didacticism, excessive length and the tendency to read history as a set of moral diagrams. The reactionary prudes who control the Danish court before Struensee arrives (their leader, Guldberg, is played by David Dencik) are caricatures of authoritarian villainy, scheming to destroy Struensee and hypocritically condemning him for immorality.

There is some genuine heat between Mr. Mikkelsen and Ms. Vikander and a welcome complexity in the relationship between Struensee and the king, whose maturation is the real arc of the story. “A Royal Affair” suffers from the richness of the historical material — there is so much going on here — and also, perhaps, from a patriotic desire to treat it reverently. Unfortunately it never fully comes to life.

A Royal Affair is directed by Nikolaj Arcel; written by Rasmus Heisterberg and Mr. Arcel; director of photography, Rasmus Videbaek; edited by Mikkel E. G. Nielsen and Kasper Leick; music by Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Aufort; production design by Niels Sejer; costumes by Manon Rasmussen; produced by Louise Vesth, Sisse Graum Jorgensen and Meta Foldager; released by Magnolia Pictures. In Danish, with English subtitles. Running time: 2 hours 17 minutes.

WITH: Mads Mikkelsen (Johann Friedrich Struensee), Alicia Vikander (Queen Caroline Mathilda), Mikkel Boe Folsgaard (King Christian VII) and David Dencik (Guldberg).

Watch the trailer of A Royal Affair by clicking on the video below.


It will be exciting to see which of these films get into the final ceremony of the Oscars Award in January. Will The Deep, A Royal Affair or Kon-Tiki be chosen to the top five list?

For Nikolaj Arcel is this Oscars nomination for his film “A Royal Affair” a great honor, which will give him more opportunities within the film industry in USA and Denmark.

Director Biography

Nikolaj Arcel is born 1972 in Denmark. Graduate of the National Film School of Denmark, 2001. His graduation film Woyzeck’s “Last Symphony” won top awards at Munich and Clermont-Ferrand. In Tel Aviv, Arcel received the award for Most Promising Director. He wrote the screenplay for the award-winning children’s film “Klatretøsen/Catch that Girl” (2002). His feature film debut “Kings’s game” (2004) was number one on the Top-20 chart and seen by over a fifth of the population in Denmark (cinema & TV). The film won a number of national awards and including Best Screenplay (for Arcel and co-writer Rasmus Heisterberg) at Viareggio. “Island of lost souls” (2007) was a winner in Chicago and Leeds and swept up five Danish Film Academy Robert Awards. Arcel and Heisterberg teamed up again with scripts for the animated feature “Journey to Saturn” (2008) and Niels Arden Oplev’s Swedish film “The girl with the Dragon tattoo” (2009), as well as Arcel’s third feature “Truth about men” (2010).

If you are interested in his older films that he has produced, can you buy them here, by clicking on the links below.

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Category: Denmark

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