A Royal Affair screens in Penticton for film series

A gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in their pursuit of freedom for the people will be the next storyline for the Kitchen Stove Film Series in Penticton.

Above all, A Royal Affair is the story of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.

A young Queen Caroline Mathilde arrives from Britain to find she is to marry King Christian VII of Denmark. The king is spoiled, self-indulgent and clueless; a puppet of the conniving aristocrats at court. After the king discovers he prefers playing with his dog to marriage, he decides on a grand tour of Europe and sets off under the care of the ruggedly handsome German physician Dr. Johann Struensee.

The doctor is a strong proponent of the principles of Enlightenment and easily influences the king. When they return to the court in Copenhagen, he soon finds himself captivated by the vibrant young queen. She the doctor's political, intellectual and physical match and their affair is fuelled as much by their reformist ideals as it is by their physical passion.

So engrossed, they fail to notice the conspiracies taking shape around them. Their secret love starts a revolution.

Director/writer Nikolaj Arcel said the film is based on one of the most dramatic events in Danish and European history.

"I used to pitch the film to foreign investors, people had a hard time believing the story was true, that these momentous events had actually happened in the late 1700s," said Arcel in his director's statement. "In Denmark however, it is taught in school. More than 15 books have been written about it, both factual and fiction, and there has even been an opera and ballet. I feel honoured and extremely lucky to finally bring the full story to the screen."

Arcel has won many top awards for his screenplays and directing efforts, some of his screenplay writing work includes the original Swedish film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was released in 2009. A Royal Affair is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, it also was nominated for a Golden Globes award for Best Foreign Language film.

The film stars Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Friedrich Struensee. The actor has previously starred as Tristan in the Jerry Bruckheimer production of King Arthur, villain Le Chiffre in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale and he had a large supporting role in the 2010 remake of the film Clash Of The Titans. Alicia Vikander plays Queen Caroline Mathilde. She previously has starred in the 2012 drama Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Mikkel Boe Folsgaard won the Best Male Actor award at the Berlinale for his appearance in A Royal Affair as Christian VII, the King of Denmark.

A Royal Affair is rated 14A and is screening at the Landmark Cinema 7 in Penticton on Feb. 21 at 4 and 7 p.m. Single pre-purchased tickets are available for $13 at the Penticton Art Gallery and The Book Shop. Limited single tickets for $15 may be available at the doors.

The Kitchen Stove Film Series is an income development initiative of the Penticton Art Gallery aiming to inspire, challenge, educate and entertain while showcasing excellence in the cinematic arts. The next film, Rust and Bone, will be shown on March 14.

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