A Royal Affair

Updated 11/21/2012

Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in "A Royal Affair."

The best film about 18th-century Danish politics you will see this week. Dashing Mads Mikkelsen plays German doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee, a freethinker brought into the corrupt royal court to tend to mad King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Flsgaard, who rants up a stark-raving storm). The poor but sexy doctor also offers his services to lovely young Queen Caroline (Alicia Vikander) if you get my drift and I think you do. Convincing her that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, he becomes an influential regent, proposing radical initiatives like the abolition of torture, ending press censorship and curtailing the perquisites of the nobility. His reforms initially win the support of the long-oppressed citizenry. Nefarious noblemen hope his affair with the queen will ignite a scandal and bring about his downfall. The film moves along crisply, looks great and stimulates the brain (I am a sucker for torrid romances propelled by quotes from Rousseau and Voltaire). (Rated R.) COLIN COVERT