On Christmas day my husband, my mom and I went to see “The Danish Girl”.
It was the 27th year in a row that I’ve seen a movie on Christmas Day and it was an excellent selection to keep that tradition alive.
I absolutely loved the movie. I only knew the basics. That the film tells the story of an artist named Einar Wegener who is married to a fellow artist named Gerta and how over time the two of them must come to terms with the fact that Einar is transgender.
As one of the first people I the world to undergo a sex change operation Einar, who becomes known as Lily, must face a decision to live a life in a body that doesn’t fit who she really is or risk everything for the chance to feel comfortable in her own skin.
The film is ultimately about love. It is about Einar/Lily’s self-love to discover who she really is. It is about Gerta’s love to let her husband become who (s)he was meant to be even if it comes at the cost of losing the person she loves the most.
The lead performances by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are both fantastic. Just as he did last year with “The Theory of Everything” (check out my review of that film: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-theory-of-everything/ ) Eddie Redmayne utterly disappears into his role.
You see the journey from Einar to Lily and you understand it. Never once did I find anything fake about Redmayne’s performance and I really think that he was the best choice for the role (although I understand the argument for this role going to a trans actress).
Alicia Vikander is just as impressive in what is the trickier role. We are meant to side with Einar/Lily but what about Gerta? Vikander shows us her love and her pain and her journey.
The film is every bit about Gerta as it is about Einar/Lily. I know she is being pushed for supporting actress but there is nothing supporting about Vikander’s performance. She stands toe to toe with Redmayne and shows she is an actress to be reckoned with in coming years.
Matthias Schoenaerts is also excellent as a friend to both Einar/Lily and Gerta.
The film is very timely in a year when the transgender movement is more front and center than ever before. Yes, the film is about a transgender character but it’s also a great period film that is filled amazing performances and is beautifully directed. I couldn’t recommend this movie more, go out and see it now.
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