The Danish Girl is based upon a book written by David Ebershoff about the true story of Einar Magnus who later became known as Lili Elbe. Lili was the first transgendered person to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, an important achievement for the transgendered community, and it’s such a shame that a better movie wasn’t made out of the subject.
Every season we get a few biopics, the type that usually have “Oscar” practically branded on them. From the first picture that was released of Eddie Redmayne, there was already “second Oscar” talk which I balked at. I knew it was all hype, and after actually viewing the movie, I couldn’t believe that people even entertained the idea. I’m not sure who’s more to blame for this disaster. Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hooper or the screenwriter. Perhaps, it’s all three. The movie is shallow, sentimental, and too polished, so much so, that it almost has the effect of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, awful dialogue included.
A lot has been said about Eddie Redmayne in this role, and it appears he’s about to get another Oscar nomination, though it has to be due to the role itself, because his acting is very self-conscious and mannered. I’d even go as far as calling it a caricature, and much to my surprise, it’s somehow worse than his impersonation of Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything.
The movie’s only saving grace is Alicia Vikander, who despite being relegated to a “suffering wife” role, actually manages to breath some life into this character, and actually creates something of value in an otherwise awful film.
I read that Nicole Kidman had been pursuing a film version of this story for years with no results before this version of the project was even thought of, and I can’t help but wonder how much better it would’ve been. It may not have been as “Oscar-friendly”, but at least it could’ve been something that would’ve been worth watching, unlike this hollow travesty.