‘The Danish Girl’ tells the story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in the transgender movement.
The Danish Girl is eye-opening and a visual masterpiece. With a one-of-a-kind story, The Danish Girl can easily be noted as the movie of the year.
The film tells the story of artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) — who later transitions into Lili Elbe, the first person to receive sex reassignment surgery in 1926. With every good film, there is also a love story. This one is no different.
Einar is married to Gerda (Alicia Vikander) until he admits he feels more like a woman on the inside. When Gerda, who is also an artist, asks Einar to pose in white stockings and sparkling, ivory flats, Lili was introduced.
Einar continues to see himself as Lili, even when Gerda begs him to stop. Einar becomes ill due to the lack of understanding from those around him. Gerda seeks help from doctors to figure out what is causing her husband so much pain. Doctors labeled it as a chemical imbalance, a problem with the brain, insanity and even schizophrenia.
Finally, Gerda finds Lili a surgeon that can help her fully become Lili — inside and out.
Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl is not just a story about the pioneer of the transgender movement. It is a story of true friendship and the love and acceptance of another human being. That is the motif of the film.
There is a lot of well-deserved Oscar buzz surrounding The Danish Girl. The film could easily win Best Picture, though it has to compete with the Golden Globe-winning movie The Revenant.
Even more noteworthy are the performances by Redmayne and Vikander. Redmayne risks his masculinity to play the role. He embraces the character throughout the movie. A memorable scene is when Redmayne looks at himself in the mirror at a ballet studio. He strips naked and tries to make himself appear as much of woman as he can. It was a beautiful scene that, in itself, could win Redmayne a back-to-back Oscar.
Vikander was equally extraordinary. With every scene you see her immense love not only for Einar, but for Lili, as well. The internal conflict that Gerda experiences is seen on the lines of Vikander’s face. Vikander is a strong contender for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
If all else fails and none of fantastic actors win an Academy Award, Danny Cohen could win for Best Cinematography. The visuals are stunning, breathtaking even. Every frame is a piece of art, which is fitting for a film about the love and friendship of the two artists. Each shot is positioned meticulously by going in and out of focus on objects rather than people. I had to continuously catch my breath as the camera shifted to yet another amazing angle.
The Danish Girl will break your heart. It will make you believe in a better world where people are encouraged to be who they desire. Walk into the theater with an open mind, and you will leave a better, more understanding person.