Film Review: Margrete: Queen of the North

Co-writer/director Charlotte Sieling’s historical drama features a powerful performance by Trine Dyrholm and some gorgeous cinematography, and yet it doesn’t quite hit the classic heights.

Shot in the Czech Republic, this opens in 1402 with Denmark’s Queen Margrete (Trine) having established a peaceful union between her country, Norway, and Sweden. She rules alongside young King Erik (Morten Hee Andersen), whom she adopted years ago after the mysterious death of her son Oluf, and to further ensure that Denmark has plenty of support if Germany invades, a marriage is set up between Erik and the younger Phillippa of England (Diana Martinová).

Amid the complex negotiations, a traumatised man (Jakob Oftebro) appears claiming to be Oluf and stating that he’s been imprisoned for 15 years, and while Margrete initially insists that he can’t possibly be her son, she’s later not so sure. And, of course, are persons unknown using him to destabilise the fragile alliance?

There are elements here that stick out (including an incidental character that the subtitles list as ‘Roar the pirate’, who sounds like he’s from TV’s Blackadder), and yet director Sieling’s sweeping drama works anyway, with, as expected, a pointed edge that, perhaps, is intended as a direct commentary upon contemporary politics.

The strange story of the ‘false Oluf’ is also worth researching in detail, but please: look it up on Wikipedia after you see the movie.

Margrete: Queen of the North is showing at Wallis and Palace Nova Cinemas. 

3.5 out of 5 STARS


We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region.

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