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
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
Many details of Einar Wegener's life were hard for both the author of the book and the crew of the film to track down. Denmark didn't have records. Dresden's women's hospital had medical records, but nothing remained after WWII. They found brief newspaper items, memoirs of the Wegeners' friends, and accounts of some similar surgeries in those days. See more »
Lili is a tall, thin, stylish woman dressed in lovely feminine clothes. She spends time using eyeliner and lipstick, yet she does not have eyebrows to match. It is highly unlikely that she would not have them shaped to accent her features. Gerda surely would have helped Lili accomplish this. 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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