The Danish Girl is one of those movies you want to applaud, when it’s over. This movie is so intense and brilliant, you think about it long after you’ve watched it.
It’s set in 1920s and 30s, when (probably) the first man, Einar Wegener, had a sex change operation. This movie starts around the time Wegener first started to dress and appear as Lily. It approaches the way both Wegener and his wife Gerda deal with the change.
The movie approaches this topic very sensitve, yet it is so intense, I cried a lot during the film. The set design, the cities and the costumes alone are fantastic – Art Deco, Art Nouveau, 20s dresses -, but the actors are all a class apart. Eddie Redmayne’s way of acting is so real, so wonderful, you get involved in the emotions. Since I first saw him as an actor (I think it was My Week with Marilyn) I was captivated. I have to admit I have not managed to watch The Theory of Everything yet, but I hope I will soon. So, my mum and I went to see the movie last Sunday and as it starred him, we expected it to be grand. We went to the cinema I kind of alway go to when watching Biopics in OV (Life, Big Eyes) and I’ve never been disappoined. But it was more than grand, really.
Alicia Vikander was at least as superb as Redmayne, the tension and the feelings of the characters were so close, so intense (I’m sorry for using this word all the time, but it describes the movie so well) and in my opinion the both of them deserve an Oscar for being the Einar/Lily and Gerda. I really don’t get why Alicia is only nominated as a supporting actress. The (actual) supporting actors (Ulla, Hans, the doctor…) were played so tender and detailed just as well. I think transsexuality is a very interesting topic, yet not very present in movies/series and this movie did a amazing job at changing this. Every detail about this movie was great, the music was so subtle, not every emotional scene was accompanied by music to strenghten the emotionality, because it was not necessary.
As I did some research on Lily Elbe, I think they didn’t stick to the original story in quite a few points, but that doesn’t change anything about the magnitude of this movie.
And as side note, I felt kind of proud (and I’m really not a patriotic person, because I think it’s kind of silly) that the first sex change operation (at least we know of) took place in Germany. I did not expect that and it’s really fantastic.
Please, go watch the movie, it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever seen (yet, as so often with great movies not nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay). But take tissues with you.