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Film Review: The Danish Girl (2015)

   

Film buffs of the world rejoice- it’s awards season, and Tom Hooper is back with another offering! The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander is the one everybody’s talking about, and for good reason. A compelling tale: it is both pioneering and entertaining, and definitely worth watching.

Taking inspiration from the real lives of 1920s artists Einar Wegener/ Lili Elbe and Gerda Gottlieb, The Danish Girl is the dramatization of David Ebershoff’s book of 2000 with the same title. It is the story of how out of the bohemian harmony of his life with his wife Gerda, successful painter Einar (Redmayne) finds his true identity in the female form of Lili. What starts as a game becomes Einar’s first step towards a transition, and his place in history as the first recorded patient in the world to undergo male to female reassignment surgery.

This delicate and topical story is told with such compassion, that frankly, anyone going to see it should be prepared to shed a few tears! Alicia Vikander gives an absolutely show-stopping performance as Gerda, Einar’s sassy yet sympathetic wife who is there all the way, but it is truly Redmayne’s film. He brings to life quivering Einar brilliantly, and as Einar becomes Lili, Redmayne’s performance is so realistic, it’s hard to believe there’s any acting involved at all.

Fans of Tom Hooper will be glad to hear he puts his stylish stamp on the film as always, with the old favourite- distressed walls putting in a few appearances, as well as those interesting filming techniques such as the extreme close ups. Yet it is the characteristic tenderness which pervades all Hooper’s films, that makes him the perfect director for this one. He has brought to screen a beautiful tale of love and finding oneself that stays with you long after the conclusion has you weeping.

It is a breath-taking film, and deserves all the awards it is sure to receive.

Written by Sarah Sutton 

 

 

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