Movie Review – The Danish Girl (2015)
This drama, based on the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, revolves around the changing nature of the marriage between these two talented painters in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the early 1900s. The relationship is stretched, challenged, and changed as Lili explores and comes to understand her gender identity and begins her journey as a transgender pioneer in a world that doesn’t understand and is full of transphobia.
This was a fantastic film that brought to the screen an emotional story focusing in on two characters struggling with different sets of circumstances. Director Tom Hooper does a nice job portraying the emotions of the characters inside the time period of the 1920s and 1930s in Denmark and France. His ability to bring the art world to life, and showcase the scenery and architecture of the time, particularly of Denmark, brought additional vibrancy and beauty to the film.
Actor Eddie Redmayne does an amazing job portraying Lili, who is coming to understand her gender identity as a woman, and working to live her life with this understanding, despite the many challenges and setbacks she faced. Redmayne does an amazing job bringing forward several poignant and emotional scenes, which allow the viewer to get a glimpse of just how difficult this was for Lili. This kind of film can also be used as a means to bring greater understanding to the diverse transgender community today, and the continued efforts at understanding, acceptance, and equality.
Furthermore, Alicia Vikander does an impressive job playing Lili’s wife Gerda, and we see equally powerful scenes where Vikander is trying to understand what Lili’s transition and identity means for the person she loves, and what it means for her marriage as well.
Both Redmayne and Vikander have great chemistry together and do a wonderful job bringing this passionate and emotional story to life.
The only issue that this drama suffers from is that it sometimes feels slightly lengthy in duration, with some sections feeling a little too stretched out. Other than that however, this is a great film and one that is sure to generate discussion and further awareness.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.