In 1766, Princess Caroline (Vikander) of Britain travels to Denmark to marry the young King Christian VII (Folsgaard). She is dismayed to learn he is mentally ill, and after dutifully bearing him a son, they become estranged. Caroline ends up falling in love with the King’s personal doctor Struensee (Mikkelsen), a German with strong ideas about political and social reform. With the weak-minded Christian under Struensee’s influence, the trio set about bringing the Enlightenment to Denmark.
Mikkelsen cements his reputation as Denmark’s greatest actor with his sensual turn in this sinuous historical drama. The stunning Vikander scores as well, playing a woman hungry for knowledge as well as love. Her arresting performance makes it easy to understand the international stardom she’s achieved since. Nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar, Arcel’s gorgeous tale of intrigue is royally entertaining.