The Danish Girl – Review By Gadi Elkon

The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener (portrayed by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne [“The Theory of Everything”] and Alicia Vikander [“Ex Machina”]), directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Misérables”). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.  From The Danish Girl Website.

Click through for my review of this profoundly moving portrait.

The Danish Girl is an amazingly well acted showcase that highlights the profound change that would forever alter the perceptions of modern society.  From Tom Hooper's impeccable directing to the crisp fluid nature of Lucinda Coxon's adapted screenplay the film hits new heights as it's visually stunning costuming, production design and cinematography all shine brightly.  The film technically is a real masterwork that only extends the powerful performances by Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander and a great supporting performance from Matthias Schoenaerts (Hans Axgil).  But everything ultimately falls on Eddie's stunning acting.

Eddie continues to dive into the physically and emotionally challenging roles that push him to the limits.  He is fascinating in all the right ways and his choices in material showcase an actor looking to make a real impact with his work.  Overall it's hard not to see him as this year's best actor for this incredibly moving transformation.  In a year where Transparent continues to be one of the most important shows on TV we also witnessed the indie gold of Tangerine.  The Danish Girl will add historical significance and more weight via award season because of the professional level of talent assembled to make this movie.  Eddie starts it all off with his Oscar-worthy portrayal.

The beautiful landscape capturing by cinematographer Danny Cohen is only outshined by the sensational power and beauty of Alicia Vikander.  With Ex-Machina and now The Danish Girl it's important to mention how incredible a talent Alicia is to the acting world.  The Danish Girl allows for an extremely powerful and vibrant figure to emerge.  It's not just her beauty, but her brains and her boldness that makes her a real hero in this complicated story of change.  She is the catalyst behind the transformation of Lili, but sadly it's her own loss of her husband that really showcases her overcoming of her darkest moment.  Gerda is one of the most complicated characters on screen this year and Alicia deserves tremendous praise for this performance. 

One of the year's most open, honest, and moving portrayals of a real important figure.  David Ebershoff's novel has been given a vivid and vibrant film adaption that was made possible by a talented group.  The LGBT community gains another strong example of why equality and honesty are possible.  The amazing quality shown in the cinematography, costume design and production design are all worthy award recognition. Denmark's scenery and landscape are perfectly captured and even the opulence of Paris is perfectly illuminated by the production design and costuming.  One other important element to the quality of The Danish Girl is the subtle and still impactful musical score by Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat.  His tempo is a perfect match to the serious nature of the story and also connects beautifully to the heartfelt love story that engulfs the screen.   

Overall one of the best films of the year and easily a major award season player.  Do not miss Focus Features' The Danish Girl.

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