Kongens nei (2016)
During WWII, the Norwegian king found himself in a political dilemma of whether to continue resisting the German invasion or yield to their demands and surrender in order to ensure peace. It was a highly diplomatic situation and arguably the last time the king of Norway had any real political power. This film from Norwegian veteran director Erik Poppe (Hawaii, Oslo, De usynlige, A Thousand Times Good Night) gives an account of this situation, focusing on the conflict between the pragmatic king and the more emotionally driven Crown Prince Olav (later to become the very popular King Olav V). In fact, there's so much focus on and screentime given to the two monarchs that the film at times is bordering on chamber drama. Early on we're also presented with a panoramic view of 1940's Oslo, and there's a segment with a skirmish between German forces and Norwegian militia, but Poppe isn't able to give these glimpses of life in war-time Norway more than a digressional value. The result is that Kongens nei not by any means is a war film, it's a film about diplomacy and political decisions, and although the stakes are high, the film never is able to transcend the face value of these proceedings. Among several above-average performances, the best belongs to Karl Markovics as the German diplomat Curt Bräuer.