I had first heard of this film back in 2016, but unfortunately for myself & most other people this film had a limited release in the US theaters. Why was this awful decision made I will not ever understand, nor do I know why this film has not received it's due accolades it has earned. It was one of the best spy and WW2 films of the modern era, its an absolute joy of a movie with great acting ect.
Most of the story is fiction set within elements of true historical fact. We honestly have no idea if the Kaiser of real history was truly like the sweet decent character depicted by Christopher Plummer, but the film takes this historical real person and places them in an interesting setting, and portrays him a good guy light. The real Kaiser of true history, like the character depicted, was not a Nazi at all in anyway, but he did harbor very intense dislikes for Jewish people and others who were targeted at that time by the Hitler regime for slave labor, torture, and mass murder. The Kaiser of real history was not a man grand republican or democratist thought, he was a strong proponent of the old order where kings, queens, and Imperialists reigned the day and land or people should be rulled over. He had also been a product of his time where both the Lutheran ideals, and Catholic themed beliefs held strong sway over the average German person which back then was heavily anti-semitic and Prussian militaristic in thought.
The setting is at the war in Europe's start, where the Wehrmarcht is ramming through Europe at a fast pace. An infantry officer is assigned to act as a bodyguard, and snitch for the regime of the Kaiser in exile after the German Army takes control of Netherlands. But this young stud is not a Nazi, he is a German Soldier pure and simple with no dark agenda nor any desire for malice toward others unlike the villains who sent him to protect the Kaiser. His immediate supervisor is the Kaiser's butler or handler so to speak, an Imperial German Army Colonel who also is not a Nazi but his life is dedicated to the Kaiser and his well being. You see political elements that had existed at the time in Germany such as the Constitutional Monarchists or old Imperial Germans who have been largely cast asside as the Nazi Party took over and controlled the agenda. Some of these older school of thought Germans had still held their positions inside the Army, as they see ever increasing hostile actions and criminal influence from the Waffen SS along with other insidious Nazi Party themed officials. Most modern Americans, and people through out the world when looking at WW2 history see a portrait of Germany that was all Hitler or all Nazi, but in real history that was certainly not true, Germany still had citizens who were social Democrats or Monarchists that had to live in silence or face jail or death by the terrible regime who controlled their society.
The Infantry Officer hears word that there is a British MI6 spy ring somewhere in the area who might try to pull some move against or with the Kaiser, and he finds himself investigating this on his own while in secret he also tries to avoid the dreaded operations of the Gestapo who at first think this Captain can be controlled as a fellow associate. Over time he finds out more and more, and tries to carry out his mission the best he can to protect the Kaiser from harm or negative influences.
What we have a grand artistic work here of fine movie quality. I would argue this film is one of the absolute best of the 2010's, and yes that was a decade of generally terrible multi million dollar trash fest films (such as Transformers or Godzilla) or politically correct dribble pieces (Disney Star Wars) which for various reasons were the films that dominated the market that had pushed good works like this one asside. Yes most of this tale is fiction, but the setting is based in real history, and thank goodness we do not have historical revinsionism or fantasy passed as fact unlike other set period movies made in more recent years. We have romantic lovers, we have heroes, and we have villains so this is a great addition to add to one's WW2 collection or anyone who likes decent spy adventure yarns. I did not agree with the rating of R, but that is also the hypersensativity of modern America, but still its a fine movie for ages 13 and above. Thumbs way up and A+ for "The Exception", a gold standard movie lost in modern times in a sea of garbage movies and tv shows.