Movie Review: The Danish Girl (2015)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard

Directed by: Tom Hooper

The story based upon the life of Danish artist Einar Wegener and his realisation that he was a woman born in the wrong body. The story follows the epic struggle Einar (now Lili) has to follow her dream of becoming who she really should be.

The Danish Girl’s subject matter has never been more relevant than in today’s society. With so many advances in the rights and recognition towards the transgender community, to watch one of the original pioneers within said community go through the struggles and battles that so many today face was truly appealing to me as it’s a part of life that I know very little about. The movie itself is superb and fully deserves all the plaudits it’s received since it’s release.

Eddie Redmayne plays Einar who transitions to Lili during the course of the movie. He’s an established Danish landscape artist who is married to Gerda, also an artist but she sticks to portraits. During the early stages of the movie Gerda requests Einar’s help to step in for a dancer she’s painting and wear stockings and dance shoes. This seems to be the start of where Einar makes the realisation of who he really is. What starts off as a bit of a laugh gradually becomes more serious as Einar takes on the persona of Lili and is convinced that Lili is who he should be and that Einar was simply the wrong outer shell she was born into. The dynamics of the transition is interesting to watch, to see how mentally draining it is for both Lili and her wife and the strain it puts on their relationship is simply fascinating. Eddie Redmayne’s performance really did deserve the Academy award that year, it was awe inspiring. While Di Caprio won the Oscar that year for his great performance in The Revenant, I feel Redmayne out acted Leo in The Danish Girl and he was desperately unlucky to miss out. Alicia Vikander, star of Ex Machina, also displays such a wonderful range of her acting ability. Her character goes on such a roller coaster ride with her career taking off and going in the right direction to her marriage essentially crumbling apart in front her eyes as she watches on, unable to intervene in her husbands transition. Over the past couple of years she truly has been a joy to watch and throughly deserved to take home the Oscar for this performance.

Despite this movie being primarily based on the transition of Einar to Lili, for me it was more about the struggle of his wife who despite knowing their marriage is pretty much over she sticks by her husband regardless and supports him throughout the course of it no matter how it affects her. She was willing to do anything in the name of love even if it meant losing him in the process. There was one thing that slightly let this movie down and that was its pace was at times a little slow and I would’ve like to have seen more of the movie while Lili was in her recovery process after her initial surgery. That’s just me nit picking slightly though.

I was watching this movie on the train on the way home from work and became so engrossed in the story that I missed my stop and had to then walk further in the rain home. That’s how good this movie is, I didn’t even get mad that I got a little extra wet as the movie more than made up for it. Would highly recommend checking out The Danish Girl if you haven’t done so already.

9/10

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