Loosely based on the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, The Danish Girl tells the story of Transgender pioneer, Einar Wegener , in 1926 Copenhagen.
Going in I only new three things about the cast and crew, Les Miserables and The King’s Speech Tom Hooper directed it, and that Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander starred in it. So imagine my surprise when I saw the supporting cast, Ben Whishaw that I’ve loved for a decade now, and crazy talented Matthias Schoenaerts.
The Danish Girl is in the Zeitgeist. The transgender community have been making the news these days and this film tackling this subject matter at a time – the 1930s – when it was even less accepted.
The film got to me, it made me incredibly uncomfortable, I shuddered and even put my sweater’s hoodie on, because I couldn’t imagine that a man would even consider or dare to go out dressed as woman in the late 1930s no less. It took courage, and for two hours I was scared for Lili’s life. It goes to show the realism that exudes from the screen.
Like I’ve also said in my trailer review the movie has a weight to it, it’s emotionally charged, and is a great journey to embark on. Tom Hooper tackled the story brilliantly by infusing an elusive shift to the way he filmed Einar and Lili. Some of the shots and cinematography were beautiful and felt very intimate.
The intimacy and bubble like atmosphere of the film is accentuated by the chemistry Vikander and Redmayne have. I never had a doubt that Redmayne could do it, his performances are usually intricate and riddled with subtleties, so it was a pleasure to see in The Danish Girl. But The reel surprise for me was Alicia Vikander, who completely stole the show. She one upped Redmayne’s incredible performance and made the story her own. It’s Gerda’s story and it’s a beautiful one. The performances are completed with memorable appearances by Ben Whishaw and Matthias Schoenaerts, who are great, and also Amber Heard who I didn’t recognize but liked in this role.
The Danish Girl is a threat, solid performances, nicely directed but it might not be for everybody.
What’s your take on it?