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, 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
Alicia Vikander's Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, instead of Best Actress in a Leading Role, was seen by many as a critical category fraud, as she has 59 minutes and 37 seconds of screen time, or 49.9% of the movie's length, this amount of screentime qualifies her for a Best Actress Oscar. Distributor Focus Features decided to campaign for Vikander as supporting actress because they thought it would increase her chances of winning, as she would have been competing against Brie Larson for her role in Room (2015) decreasing her chances of winning the award. Vikander has refused to comment on the debate. See more »
Rasmussen's Pince-nez have a modern anti reflective coating on them which is visible in the art gallery scenes. The ARC had not 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 semi true-story of painters Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander), a married couple who find their lives changing when Einar dresses as a woman so Gerda can have someone to paint but it brings something out in him. Soon Einar is going around as the Lili character and soon decides that he's a woman on the inside.
THE DANISH GIRL is another beautiful looking film from Tom Hooper, the director best known for his Oscar-winner THE KING'S SPEECH. Like that film the director has no problem with the visual look of the film and Hooper certainly knows how to put you in the period setting. It also doesn't hurt that we've got some excellent performances and a rather interesting and conflicted love story.
I think the real draw here are the performances with Redmayne once again delivering a remarkable piece of work just a year after his Oscar win for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. A lot of actors have played male/female characters to perfection. In my mind the greatest was Dustin Hoffman in TOOTSIE but that there was a comedy whereas this here certainly isn't. It was really remarkable seeing how well Redmayne played both the male and female character and he was certainly believable as both. Whenever the Lili character was on screen you really did feel as if you were watching an actress and not just a man playing a female. Vikander is also excellent as the woman who finds the man she love slowly turning into someone else.
The film features some beautiful cinematography, a great music score and I also thought the screenplay was very good. The story itself drags a tad bit during the first portion but I think it asks a lot of really good questions about what love is and of course what one feels about who they really are. I thought the flow of the film was quite good and there's no question that it nails the costume design and sets. THE DANISH GIRL isn't a masterpiece but it's certainly a very good movie with some excellent performances.
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