A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
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Copenhagen, 1926. Danish artist, Gerda Wegener, painted her own husband, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), as a lady in her painting. When the painting gained popularity, Einar started to change his appearance into a female appearance and named himself Lili Elbe. With his feminism passion and Gerda's support, Einar - or Elbe - attempted one of the first male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, a decision that turned into a massive change for their marriage, that Gerda realized her own husband is no longer a man or the person she married before. A childhood friend of Einar, art-dealer Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts), shows up and starts a complex love triangle with the couple. Written by
The story could have been very dramatic and deeply touching, as it is a true story of both the internal conflicts of a man and the deep love of a woman to her partner. Unfortunately the meticulous attention to image rather than screenplay (to me) resulted in a quite cold and un- engaging movie, where beautiful costumes, interiors and landscapes are the only highlights. I found that even the acting of the brilliant young Eddie Redmayne was not that good, as his constant smiles and shy blinking eyes after a while seem to be the only stratagem he has to portray such a complex character (and after the first dozen of them I couldn't stand it anymore). A more sophisticated psychological portrait of the main character and a more dramatic rendition of his/her troubled soul would have given more solidity to a movie which seems too superficial.
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