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.
Sandra, a young female student, rents a room from Anna-Lisa - a middle aged actress and former ballet dancer in Berlin. One day Sandra reads her landlady's diary where she expresses ... See full summary »
Kristian A. Söderström
Susan is longing for her boyfriend Anders who is away on business. Isolated in the flat they recently moved into, she has got the feeling that someone is visiting the apartment during ... See full summary »
Erika has it all: a good job, lots of friends and a secure relationship. Until the day it all falls apart. Suddenly this perfect life means nothing, and the feelings she once was able to ... See full summary »
A series of tableaux of everyday settings with people in various stages of their lives. Relations form and finish, memories of meetings mingle with the yearning for meetings that have not ... See full summary »
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
Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe wasn't the first transgender person nor the first to undergo sex reassignment surgery, she was only among the first. Dora Richter/Dörchen Richter (also known as Dora R., 1891-1933) - who was born as Rudolph Richter, became the first trans woman of whom records remain to undergo vaginoplasty. According to Dr. Felix Abraham, a psychiatrist working at the Institute for Sexual Science, where Dora was employed as a domestic servant, her first step to feminization was made by means of castration in 1922. After this there was a long pause, until the beginning of the year 1931, when the penis amputation was done and in June, the here described surgery - a highly experimental vaginoplasty performed by Dr. Erwin Gohrbandt, who later becomes a decorated surgeon-general in the Luftwaffe. Carla van Crist and Toni Ebel had also got the surgery before Lili arrived in Berlin. The Institute for Sexual Research (founded by Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin, in 1919), was doing the operations, but the Nazis destroyed the files in 1933 so there is no way of knowing who truly was the first person to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Lili's last operations were made by Dr. Kurt Warnekros at the Dresden Women's Clinic. Her first surgeries (castration and penectomy) had been performed by Dr. Ludwig Levy-Lenz under Hirschfeld's supervision in Berlin in 1930. These preliminaries have sometimes caused confusion over the date of Lili's 'sex change', but Dora/Dörchen Richter was the first transgender woman who underwent sex reassignment surgery, that began in 1922. See more »
When Gerda and Lili enter their apartment building in Paris, the large church in the background is the Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, commonly called Marble Church. 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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