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Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Danish Girl (2015)

In 1926 Copenhagen, the painter Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) develops a split personality. His other "identity" is that of a woman called Lili. His wife (Alicia Vikander) is understandably confused and afraid but she takes his journey with him right to the end. Directed by Tom Hooper (THE KING'S SPEECH), I was surprised at how much better the film was than I expected. I was expecting another "trapped in the wrong body" drama but THE DANISH GIRL is a love story between two people in a society that was not yet capable of understanding what a transgender person is. The film is every bit as much about Vikander's wife and her journey as it is about Redmayne's character. Indeed, when the film's title is mentioned in the film, it is Vikander they are referencing, not Redmayne. The film sticks to its 1926 time frame without resorting to 21st century insights or political correctness. The 32 year old Redmayne is actually much younger than the real Wegener who was already in his late 40s when he had his sexual reassignment surgery (historically, one of the first of its kind). Another incredible score by Alexandre Desplat. The excellent supporting cast includes Ben Whishaw (Q of the Bond films), Matthias Schoenaerts (RUST AND BONE), Sebastian Koch and Amber Heard.

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