Tuesday, 29 December 2015

'The Danish Girl' Film Review

Another film that's garnered a lot of awards attention is 'The Danish Girl',  directed by Tom Hooper (Les Miserable, The King's Speech), which tells the story of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. 

Set in Copenhagen in the 1920s, landscape painter Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and portrait artist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) are a happily married couple, but when Einar steps in for one of Gerda's female models, begins a journey of self discovery and gender identity.

Based on the diary of Lili Elbe, the film does sidestep some of the facts for a more 'Hollywood' treatment. Public criticism mainly revolves around this mis-truth to the original texts, but in taking this different direction, allows for a stronger focus on Einar and Gerda's bond.

The transformation of Einar to Lili throughout the movie is well choreographed with a good pace. The focus is on Einar and Gerda's relationship, and her growing acceptance of what her husband is experiencing. Despite the themes of gender being at the core of the film, it is indeed a story of love and that is exactly what its being marketed as.

As the movie draws to a close, it does get slightly choppy and loses its fluidity, but the ending sequence is a beautiful one.

Eddie Redmayne- Einar Wegener/ Lili Elbe
Alicia Vikander- Gerda Wegener

Also stars Ben Whishaw and Amber Heard

Eddie Redmayne is perfectly cast as Einar/Lili in another transformative performance which may well get him nominated again for an Academy Award, but could he win it two years in a row? 

Whilst Redmayne puts in a strong performance, the commanding and emotionally charged Gerda, played by Alicia Vikander definitely deserves to be recognised. Having already been rather prominent this year with 'Ex-Machina', Swedish Vikander is truly the one to watch.

~~~OVERALL 8/10~~~
'The Danish Girl' is beautifully set, well paced and deals with important themes in a historical context. Despite criticism of how truthful the story sticks to the original texts, the movie is powerful and swift in its storytelling. 

Led by two commanding performances by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, 'The Danish Girl' is another near- perfect film by Hooper, and a 'Best Picture' nomination will be the icing on the cake. 

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