The Danish Girl
Directed by Tom Hooper
When Gerda Wegener asks her husband Einar to fill in as a portrait model, Einar discovers the person she's meant to be and begins living her life as Lili Elbe. Having realized her true self and with Gerda's love and support, Lili embarks on a groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
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★★★½ review by liamkelsall on Letterboxd
alicia vikander, queen of the period drama, strikes again
★★★½ review by Ezra Cubero on Letterboxd
Despite the third act falling apart, "The Danish Girl" is a beautifully directed, wonderfully acted movie with really powerful scenes. Eddie Redmayne is once again terrific, but Alicia Vikander is the MVP. #TIFF40
★★★★ review by Robbie Collin on Letterboxd
There’s a scene in The Danish Girl in a bustling Paris salon, where Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander), an artist from Copenhagen, is exhibiting her series of nude portraits of a smouldering femme fatale called Lili. The guests can’t get enough of them, or her – and in the crush, someone asks Gerda if her mysterious model has come to the party.
“I’m afraid she’s not here,” she replies, except she is: in the person of Gerda’s husband Einar (Eddie Redmayne), who posed for the paintings and is hanging back on the staircase, a jittery mixture of awkward and flattered. Einar’s body is male, but on the inside, he’s female – and when he looks at the paintings, he sees his true self, Lili, looking back. Art can see who Einar really is: mirrors just have a bit of catching up to do.
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★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
Although its execution could’ve been much stronger, The Danish Girl is a compelling biopic with thought-provoking themes, strong direction from Tom Hooper, beautiful cinematography, and excellent performances from Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.
★★★½ review by Dragonknight on Letterboxd
Beautifully shot and breathtakingly well-acted The Danish Girl is another engaging movie from Tom Hooper who once again shows his stellar abilities in narrating emotionally rich stories by being faithful to the basic rules of classic drama. Like The King’s Speech this is a story in which the main protagonist rediscovers her true self, her weaknesses, her strengths, her desires and her ambitions and finally finds a way of living a meaningful life (which of course in this case doesn’t necessarily lead to a happy ending). Eddie Redmayne delivers a wonderful performance yet it is Alicia Vikander who – in my opinion – has the most difficult task here. She must be fragile yet strong, she must be confident yet full of doubt. She shows us a woman who – due to her husband’s situation – is in terrible emotional pain but at the same time she must also be hopeful, compassionate, supportive and mature. Her ability to show all those paradoxical emotions simultaneously without putting a foot wrong is second to none here. Alexandre Desplat’s magical piano adds to the story’s dramatic sensation and the film’s excellence in production design, costumes and cinematography mean that you are invited to a visual feast of the highest quality. Danish Girl’s thematic elements will certainly make some people uncomfortable – probably the reason for its mixed critical reception – but it is a movie that handles its sensitive subject matter with great composure without turning it into a syrupy melodrama. Obviously this is not a complete movie, supporting characters are clumsily written and the middle third of the film is not as strong as its rest, but despite all these it is a movie that deserves applause and respect.
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