Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction, based on a novel by Karen Blixen, feels like a Shakespearean comedy. It uses broad strokes, outlandish characters, and funny situations to tell a story about art, seduction, and royal political shenanigans.
In Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction, Cazotte (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) is an artist. He’s painting a portrait of The Grand Duchess (Sidse Babett Knudsen) of Denmark. The Grand Duchess and her ancient husband have a tenuous hold on the crown. Their rather fey son needs to marry and produce an heir if they are to hang on to their position.
When the portrait is unveiled at a big palace event, Cazotte sees Ehrengard (Alice Bier Zanden). She’s beautiful. He’s smitten. This is who he wants to seduce. But he wants to do it in an artistic way.
Cazotte thinks he is god’s gift to women, a top notch lover. The Grand Duchess has needs that go beyond getting her portrait painted.
Cazotte and The Grand Duchess agree to a deal and wager. He will help find a wife for the young prince in return for a chance to seduce Ehrengard. If he fails, The Grand Duchess gets what she longs for instead.
Cozotte does indeed find a wife for the young man. She’s already 4 months pregnant, a bit of a problem. They take off to hide away for a while until the sight of a baby and the date of the marriage are a suitable number of months apart. A whole bevy of people accompany them to their secluded palace to await the birth. Cazotte and Ehrengard are among them.
There are many complications in the way of any of the characters getting what they want. Most of them are humorous. Some of them depend on Cazotte’s talent at seduction.
The film is a bit of fluff, really. About as substantial as a Keystone Kops flick. But the combination of Sidse Babett Knudsen and Karen Blixen was irresistible to me. There are days when a bit of fluff is just what you need. If you watch this one, I’d love hearing what you thought of it in the comments.