The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl

(2015)

Find the courage to be yourself.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and director Tom Hooper (The Kings Speech) gun for another Oscar with this true love story inspired by Lili Elbe (Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina), a married couple whose unbreakable union helped Lili transition from a man to a woman. 

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Flicks Review

To call The Danish Girl ‘Oscar-bait’ seems trite, but with the magical formula of an outstanding dramatic lead, hot subject matter and biopic, it’s hard to imagine a world where Eddie Redmayne won’t nab the Best Actor gong for the second year running.... More

The Danish Girl charts the transition of Lili Elbe (Redmayne), née Einar Wegener, a Danish transgender painter who was one of the first to undergo gender reassignment surgery in the 1920s.

Husband and wife Einar and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) are happily ensconced in married life, both making a living as painters. When a model fails to show up, Gerda asks her husband to don stockings and heels to complete a portrait. At this moment Einar discovers the awakening of a true identity and Gerda finds a new muse that takes the fashionable art set by storm.

The cinematography and design is a feast for aesthetes; you can’t help but wonder why all men wouldn’t jump at the chance to wear such beautiful gowns. But it is this focus on lush costuming and interiors that also lends an air of superficiality. When Lili begins the process of undergoing the pioneering surgery, the fear that the real Lili Elbe must have faced doesn’t quite feel present enough. Even though there is hostility all around her, it feels breathlessly dramatic rather than dangerous.

Despite this, the truth of Lili in Redmayne’s extraordinary portrayal of her shines bright. The exotic contradictions of his features are used to wonderful effect—he really is beautiful. It’s a shame that the role couldn’t have gone to a trans actor but in lieu of that happy occasion we have an incredible performance from one of his generation’s best actors instead. Redmayne’s transition to Lili is brave and empathetic. Einar should be proud.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

BY thorinoak superstar

Oh what could have been. The story of Lili Elbe is a powerful, engaging, and dramatic tale but this film biopic of her life seemed to fall a little flat only fully engaging the audience at intervals. Redmayne also seems to be lacking depth resorting to wide eye crying whenever Elbe is trying to process difficulty. The saving grace of this film is Vikander with another stand out performance as Redmayne's wife as she seeks to love, support, and understand her husband's transition.


Eddie Redmayne was amazing! Kept us drawn in the whole way through. Greatly performed even made me shed a few tears! Alicia Vikande of course was just stunning and almost stole the show


BY bdiggs grader

I enjoyed this film and think it did a pretty good job of showing how difficult it can be for someone when a person they love literally becomes someone else. I had never really considered that before. Apart from a terribly overwrought part at the very end it was well handled.


I wasn't sure what to expect of the movie. We see Lili emerge in a marriage, and is eventually accepted by Alicia Vikande, the wife. Eddie Redmayne transforms amazingly into a very womanly woman. Far more girly than any woman I know. Who knows, it was set in the past. I think the movie doesn't put enough emphasis on Gerda's side of the story. The cinematography is breathtaking.


BY BHaldane lister

Worthy of actor and actress noms? Absolutely. Best picture? Meh. Look THOROUGHLY enjoyed it - an amazing account of courage and unconditional love. But at the end of the day just not the sort of story I seek out really...but throw Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina, and I'm there. Took the perfect person...my other half!


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The Press Reviews

70% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Redmayne's fine bone-china features are prime movers in all of this being convincing but so is his performance, reticent, vulnerable and acutely observed. Full Review

  • Tom Hooper transforms this story into the most gorgeous and accessible film that you could make given the subject. Full Review

  • Has charm, but not quite passion. Full Review

  • Redmayne and Vikander, along with the film's dusky flourishes, allow The Danish Girl to reach beyond the awards it was designed to win. Full Review

  • Redmayne is able to shed his own persona to go undercover into the lives of people facing extreme physical and emotional challenges. Full Review

  • Hooper's tasteful, earnest, didactic style - magnified by Alexandre Desplat's decorously overwrought score - does the film no favors. Full Review

  • It frankly takes a while to unpack its themes and gain our interest, but it finally allows us to unmistakably experience the powerful drives that motivate the action. Full Review

  • The film is so tasteful that you might barely realise the story involves a man having his penis surgically removed at a time when such a thing was barely known or possible. Full Review

The Talk
87 %

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