We’ve come a long way since the days of Lili Elbe and Gerde Wegener. Transgender issues that made chaos of their lives now have mainstream acceptance, but Hooper’s direction is refreshingly frank about how confusing and overwhelming Lili’s transition was for her and her wife. Elsewhere, Coxon’s immaculate script is perceptive, if a little on-the-nose, about issues of gender, performativity and the male gaze.
The last word must go to a pair of stunning performances from Redmayne and Vikander who summon that rare intensity of emotion which shrinks the world around them until they are its sole occupants.
The languid running time makes for an authentic depiction of a life-changing transition, but occasionally tries the patience. Nevertheless, The Danish Girl is essential and emotional filmmaking.
CAST: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard
DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper
WRITERS: Lucinda Coxon (screenplay), David Ebershoff (novel)
SYNOPSIS: The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.