Movie Review – ‘The Danish Girl’

“A brave and groundbreaking masterpiece!”

Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

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Movie fans mesmerized last year by Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar-winning portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” will find the young actor’s latest role perhaps even more impressive. Based upon true events and David Ebershoff’s novel in 2000 by the same name, “The Danish Girl” stars Redmayne as successful artist Einar Wegener in 1927 Copenhagen. Redmayne’s Einar character battles a life-long struggle as a woman born inside a man’s body.

“The Danish Girl” is a brave and groundbreaking masterpiece! Academy Award-winner Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) directs and co-produces this emotional story about feelings and relationships. The film tastefully handles a sensitive topic by providing a raw realism through its exceptional cast.

This year’s hottest female movie star, Alicia Vikander, plays Redmayne’s wife of six years–and gives a screen performance of a lifetime. Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz and, even Charlize Theron, were all once rumored at some point to be pegged for the part of Gerda Wegener opposite Redmayne. Thankfully, this vital role ultimately landed upon the versatile Vikander, culminating in a magical 2015 that also saw this bright, rising star shine in “Ex Machina” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

DanishGirl

Despite the enormous anticipation and hype surrounding Redmayne’s challenging transgender work in “The Danish Girl”,  he actually delivers…and does so big time! He has once again placed his name in the discussion for this year’s Best Actor award.  Redmayne’s courageous stint highlights the disruptive ordeal faced by Einar and Gerda to their marriage and to each of their lives.

Two developments in “The Danish Girl” surprise me. First, although I knew that Redmayne’s character would find his (her) voice to pursue the sex reassignment surgery by the film’s end, seeing this remarkable actor slowly put Einar’s true female thoughts and feelings into action is fascinating to watch. Secondly, Alicia Vikander’s stunning performance as the bewildered wife caught losing her husband and the life she knows, makes this film a must-see.

A daunting job by both Redmayne and Vikander will result in both getting well deserved Oscar nods in January. Wonderful cinematography and costume design take moviegoers back to the 1920’s and an arduous time for a couple of artists whose love for each other must endure marital challenges and Einar Wegener’s long repressed feelings. A sensational film with extraordinary performances takes on a difficult subject matter—and excels through forgiveness, love and understanding!

Grade: A

“The Danish Girl” is rated R for some sexuality and full nudity.  Its running time is 2 hours.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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