The Danish Girl
Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts
In 1930, when the concept of transsexuality was fairly unknown, Danish painter Einar Wegener (later Lili Elbe) became one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. In the mid-1920s, the happily married Einar begins to feel increasingly uncomfortable in his own body. His supportive wife Gerda has turned into a celebrated artist by painting portraits of Lili, but now she must come to terms with losing her husband. This beautifully staged but somewhat risk-free biopic was adapted from David Ebershoff’s book. Just why the author felt compelled to take real-life characters and heavily fictionalise their lives, is beyond my understanding. However, the lack of authenticity is not the film’s only flaw. Considering how edgy and groundbreaking Lili was at the time, the events unfold with a surprising lack of drama. Eddie Redmayne, who is conveniently pretty for the role, gives a great performance, even if it includes a bit too much sighing and grinning to my liking. The Oscar winning Alicia Vikander is wonderful as Gerda.