The Danish Girl
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard and Sebastian Koch
This movie is the story of a Danish man named Einar Wegener in the 1920’s who suffered, because he was a woman born in a man’s body, and it deals with the period in his adult hood when he fully came to understand who he was, and how his wife Gerda and the other important people in his life dealt with it.
I went to see it yesterday in the cinema with a friend. It’s such a beautifully filmed movie, filled with period detail, and extraordinary performances from both Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. Redmayne plays Einar/ Lili with incredible skill, from the first moment when Einar begins to realise who he has always been, in a scene where Gerda asks him to wear stockings, and hold a dress against his body, so that she can complete a portrait of a female friend who was running late.
He must be one of the best character actors I’ve seen in a long time, going from a remarkable performance mastering Stephen Hawking’s mannerisms, to delivering a emotionally affecting performance of a man torn between who he truly is, and who society thought he should be at the time that he lived, complete with physical changes when he playing Lili, and Einar.
He is more than matched by Vikander, who delivers a performance chock full of emotional power, she starts out as a woman very much in love with her husband, and devises a light hearted experiment, convincing Einar to dress as a woman and attend a art party. This act solidifies in Einar’s mind, who he is meant to be, and inevitably changes the relationship between the two. Gerda must obviously have been a incredibly strong woman, as she manages to deal with the fact that her husband feels that he should be a woman, with grace and kindness. She supports Lili through first the operation to remove her male genitalia, and then the second operation to fully become a woman, although it will clearly irrevocably alter their relationship.
I thought that the sets and the scenery were equally as beautiful as each other, the set designers and costume designers evidently knew a good deal about the period, creating something utterly beautiful, especially during the Paris scenes. The apartments that the couple share in both Copenhagen and Paris were very impressive, in terms of size and the way that they were dressed.
In short I can’t recommend this film highly enough, and wanted to post this, even though I’ve not quite finished the initial list of films A-Z.