Whilst most of us will have at least a vague appreciation of the main events which affected our own countries during World War II, the picture is different when we look farther afield. In the UK, most of our knowledge revolves around the Western Front; but almost entirely France, Belgium and neighbouring countries. The role the Scandinavian countries played is normally overlooked. In The King’s Choice, the Norwegian monarch has an unenviable decision to make on the eve of invasion.
In April 1940, Adolf Hitler’s German war machine sets its focus on Norway. Using the pretence of protection, the Nazis mobilise their forces for conquest. King Haakon VII (Jesper Christensen) is wrestling with a crisis in national support for the monarchy when the Germans arrive. He’s evacuated, along with Crown Prince Olav (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) and family to the countryside. As the führer attempts to install a puppet leader into power, he instructs his emissary (Karl Markovics) only to negotiate directly with the king directly.
Whilst The King’s Choice is an in depth character study of a monarch wrestling with the fate of a nation, it’s a surprisingly gripping drama. It becomes increasingly tense as the Germans draw nearer. It’s beautifully shot and skillfully directed by Erik Poppe, featuring superb performances from an impressive cast. The King’s Choice is a superior biopic which places Haakon VII under the microscope during his most difficult test.
The King’s Choice is released on released on DVD by Thunderbird Releasing on 15 January.