On Friday 21 September the Danish Oscar Submitting Committee selected Zentropa and Nikolaj Arcel's "A Royal Affair" as the national entry for the Foreign Language Oscar nominations 2013. On the shortlist were also Susanne Bier's "Love Is All You Need" and Bille August's "Marie Krøyer".
"A Royal Affair" is based on a dramatic story from Danish 18th century history, a story of love and politics between King Christian VII, his English queen Caroline Mathilda and the king's physician Struensee. The film features two of Scandinavia's hottest names, with Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Struensee and Alicia Vikander as the young headstrong queen.
Off the press
"A richly satisfying affair which tells an extraordinary true story of political change and royal intrigue with impeccable production values, charismatic actors and gorgeous gowns and wigs."
"A gripping chapter of European history is recounted with elegance, intelligence and clarity in Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s sumptuous costume drama."
The Hollywood Reporter
"Mikkelsen (...) seems destined to become the next international star our of Europe."
Chicago Sun Times (Roger Ebert)
"As interesting a portrait of late 18the-century life as 'Amadeus' or 'The Madness of King George'."
"Arcel gives this true story the shape and bite of a well-crafted fiction, and its political themes are every bit as stirring as the romance."
"A voluptuous slice of historical drama that will satisfy period fans and Mikkelsen admirers equally."
"Can stand comparison with Fred Zinnemann's 'A Man for All Seasons' and David Lean's 'Doctor Zhivago'."
"It has been a difficult decision. This past year has been excellent for Danish film with many titles of unique international class," says Henrik Bo Nielsen, CEO of the Danish Film Institute who heads the committee.
In its motivation, the committee emphasizes "A Royal Affair"s international potential:
"At the Berlin Film Festival 'A Royal Affair' attracted immediate attention and took home two Silver Bears, for Best Actor and Best Script. At its Danish release, the film became a resounding success, and in the UK it enjoyed the best opening weekend ever for a Danish-language film. Recently it made a successful entry on the North American festival scene. We are confident that the Academy members will find it interesting."
Director Nikolaj Arcel, who made his feature debut with the tense political thriller "King's Game" (2004), had an international breakthrough as co-writer on Niels Arden Oplev's adaptation of Stieg Larsson's first Millennium novel, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".
American release November 9
"A Royal Affair" opened in Danish theatres on 29 March and sold more than half a million tickets. The film is produced by Louise Vesth, Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Meta Louise Foldager for Zentropa with support from the Danish Film Institute. Magnolia Pictures, who hold distribution rights in the US, have scheduled its American theatrical release for November 9.
The Oscar Academy will announce the nominations for Best Foreign Language Film on 10 January, and the awards show in Los Angeles will take place on 26 February 2013.
Academy rules require that the submitted films have had their domestic theatrical release between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012, that the film is produced outside the US and that it predominantly is in a language or languages other than English.
About the Danish committee
The Danish Oscar Submitting Committee is set up by the Danish Film Institute and film industry organisations. The committee consists of Henrik Bo Nielsen (CEO, Danish Film Institute), Tivi Magnusson (producer, Danish Producers Association), Jan Weincke (cinematographer, Danish Association of Cinematographers), Kim Pedersen (president, Danish Cinema Association), Mette-Ann Schepelern (board member, Danish Film Directors), Louise Kidde Sauntved (board member, Danish Film Journatlists Association), and Steffen Andersen-Møller, (head of Audience & Promotion, Danish Film Institute).
Danish Oscar entries over the last 15 years
2011 Superclásico / Ole Christian Madsen
2010 In a Better World / Susanne Bier
2009 Terribly Happy / Henrik Ruben Genz
2008 Worlds Apart / Niels Arden Oplev
2007 The Art of Crying / Peter Schønau Fog
2006 After the Wedding / Susanne Bier
2005 Adam's Apples / Anders Thomas Jensen
2004 The Five Obstructions / Jørgen Leth og Lars von Trier
2003 Reconstruction / Christoffer Boe
2002 Open Hearts / Susanne Bier
2001 Italian for Beginners / Lone Scherfig
2000 A Place Nearby / Kaspar Rostrup
1999 Mifune / Søren Kragh-Jakobsen
1998 The Celebration / Thomas Vinterberg
1997 Barbara / Nils Malmros