EXCLUSIVE: Kaiser Wilhem, last emperor of the German Empire, ended his reign as one of the most hated men on earth. Held largely responsible for the disaster that was World War 1, he was as despised by his own subjects as he was by the world at large, and after Germany’s defeat was forced into exile in the Netherlands, where he spent the last 25 years of his life. He has largely been forgotten in popular culture however, thanks of course to the far worse monstrosities of the Nazi regime, but the upcoming TIFF drama The Exception aims to shine a light on the complicated and difficult man. Starring Christopher Plummer, the World War II-set film follows the complex political machinations within the former Kaiser’s Dutch household and his own contradictory tendencies, and in the exclusive clip above, we get a glimpse of that as he shows leniency towards the personal affairs of his household staff.
A humanistic portrayal of the man and his bundle of contradictions has a lot of promise – Wilhelm was a man even Hitler hated (which would normally be a recommendation to his character but, alas, he was sternly opposed to democracy, enjoyed Germany’s conquests in WWII despite his exile, and was kind of a bigot). We’ll have to wait a while to see it for ourselves, alas. The Exception has its world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Directed by David Levaux from a script by Simon Burke, the film is produced by Judy Tossell and Lou Pitt stars Christopher Plummer as Wilhelm, along with Janet McTeer, Jai Courtney and Lily James. UTA is handling sales.