Movie Review: The Danish Girl


There's a reason that Eddie Redmayne has already garnered a slew of award nominations for his role as Einar (later, Lili) in The Danish Girl: he's amazing to watch in this film. The movie itself is very good, too, although could have been a little shorter time-wise.

Einar Wegener (Redmayne) is an artist who is married to another artist, Gerda (Alicia Vikander). She has him pose for her wearing women's shoes and some pantyhose, to fill in for an absent model, and he starts to realize that he wants to wear women's clothes all the time ... and that these feelings aren't new. As a fun stunt, Gerda takes him to a ball with her dressed as Lili, his alter ego, and he gets hit on there by a man; soon, Einar slowly starts to morph into Lili, wearing a wig, makeup, and women's clothing all the time, but because this is 1920s Denmark, that behavior isn't always widely accepted. Lili also wants to physically become a woman, and she and Gerda go to a specialist to see what can be done.

Redmayne actually became a very pretty woman, as he already has a feminine face; with some makeup and a short red wig, he looked great. After a while, it became strange to see him wearing men's clothes in the movie, instead of vice versa, as he became Lili more often. I liked that Gerda, his wife, was very supportive of him throughout the whole movie; a lesser woman would have been shocked, at least, or maybe even disgusted, at worst, but she was there for her husband while he transitioned to being Lili. This is a true story, as well: I was vaguely familiar with that before seeing the movie, but make sure to stay through the very end, as we get a bit more insight about the real Lili and her fate.

Yes, see this movie. It's rated R, mostly for a few scenes of nudity (there's one of Redmayne pre-transition, and some of his wife), but because the subject matter is so sensitive (it's more 2015 than 1920s, actually), this is not a film for teens who are more immature. Redmayne definitely deserves an Oscar nomination for his role (he already has Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations), and Vikander does well here too - she's also received both Golden Globe and CCA nominations. Amber Heard and Ben Whishaw also have supporting roles here, as well as Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop).The Danish Girl is a movie that you'll be thinking about long after the credits roll, and it's one that;s definitely deserving of any awards it wins during this awards season.

The Danish Girl is in theaters today, December 18th, and is rated R with a runtime of approximately 120 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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