Chances are a movie about 18th-century Danish history might not be a grabber. But this one could have been, had director Nikolaj Arcel cut the length by about 15 minutes, injected some zest into the narrative, and perhaps done some recasting. For example, Mads Mikkelsen as reformist firebrand Johann Friedrich Struensee, seems to be reprising his role as the blank-faced bad guy in Casino Royale who bleeds from the eyes. As the doctor of the mad king Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, the life of the party), Struensee ingratiates himself into his patient's trust, becoming his adviser and the power behind the throne. Then he pushes his luck, sleeping with the queen (a bland Alicia Vikander), and worse, implementing a liberalization of the government according to Enlightenment ideals. And back then Liberals were hated even more than they are now. So it's timely, perhaps, and photographed with a gloomy beauty, but halfway through I was hoping they would cut [SPOILER] to the axe.