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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David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
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Copenhagen, Denmark, 1926. Einar Wegener (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) are a happily married couple. Both are artists, Einar preferring landscapes and she portraits. One day Einar poses for a portrait of Gerda's while wearing a dress. This is initially done as a lark, as is the later attendance at a party dressed as a woman. However, Einar soon discovers that she is in fact a woman and over time prefers being Lili. At first she and Gerda try to have her situation "cured" but this leads nowhere (other than to many doctors trying to have Lili locked up as a pervert and/or lunatic). Her voyage of self-discovery will ultimately lead to her undergoing the first ever sex-change operation.Written by
Lili consulted two physicians, both of whom diagnosed her as homosexual, a third physician diagnosed her as intersexed and claimed she had rudimentary female sex organs. In fact, when the sex reassignment surgery commenced, the surgeons found shrunken female ovaries. Hormonal assays taken just before her first surgery indicated more female than male hormones present. It is likely that she had XXY sex chromosome karyotype (Klinefelter's Syndrome) a condition not medically recognized until 1942. The fact that Lili was Intersex is not mentioned in the film. See more »
Rasmussen's pince-nez have a modern anti reflective coating on them which is visible in the art gallery scenes. The ARC would not have been available during this time period. See more »
Don't you wish you could paint like that? Oh, I'm sorry? I said, don't you wish you could paint like your husband? Really. You must be so proud of him. So elegant.
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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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