Cinema

The Danish Girl is a film that is killed by good taste

It looks nice but is dull, repetitive and lacking in insight — and I wanted to punch Eddie Redmayne

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

The Danish Girl

15, Nationwide

The Danish Girl is based on the true (if heavily revised and simplified) story of Lili Elbe, one of the first people ever to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but while the timing of this is right — transgender issues are surely the next equality frontier — the film itself somehow isn’t. It’s OK. It’s probably passable, if you’ve got two hours to kill. But it’s repetitive, excessively polite and also, given the subject matter, surprisingly dull. It opens when Lili is still Einar, married to Gerda, and if the two ever came round for dinner you’d be mouthing over their heads: ‘Who invited them?’ And: ‘Oh boy, do you think they are ever going to leave?’

Directed by Tom Hooper, who gave us The King’s Speech, which was heavenly, then Les Misérables, which was 672 hours about a stolen bun, the film starts in 1920s Copenhagen, and, I have to say, it looks beautiful, with its painterly, soft blue interiors, white skies and gorgeous cobbled streets. Everything is meticulous and tasteful, right down to the women gutting herring down by the dock, who are so fresh and tidy and immaculate they could be serving in Fortnum & Mason. I am even thinking meticulous taste may be part of the problem here. This desperately needed to get down and dirty. Lili is not Einar in disguise. Lili isn’t Tootsie or Mrs Doubtfire or Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis from Some Like It Hot. In fact, the opposite is true. Einar is Lily in disguise, and we needed to go deep — to know how this feels, and to understand where it might take us, should we be brave enough — but we never do.


We first encounter Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) when they are so happily married they are still carrying on like newly-weds, even six years in. He’s a landscape artist, she’s a portrait painter, and they are both enthusiastic for sex — ‘come back to bed, darling’ and all that — which, film conventions being what they are, is always a sign that a relationship is about to be irrevocably disturbed. This disturbance initially occurs when Gerda’s sitter, a ballet dancer, fails to turn up so Einar stands in, longingly pulling on the stockings and longingly fondling the fabric of the dress and longingly slipping on the shoes. This is a pivotal scene; a scene of both joy (realising who you truly are) and pain (realising what this is going to mean) but it’s so crudely obvious I cringed a little. Redmayne, who rightly won an Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, acts only in a series of awkward, coy smiles, with eyes downcast. That’s what he does, over and over, until I quite wanted to punch him, while crying: ‘Look up, look up! For Christ’s sake, just look up!’

Einar begins dressing as Lili, and at first it’s a bit of a game, which amuses Gerda, who passes her off as Einar’s cousin from the countryside. She also paints Lili, and the paintings sell like hot cakes, whereas she’d previously not had much luck. But when Lili attracts the attention of another man (Ben Whishaw, in a beret) it stops being fun, as Gerda realises she is losing her husband, and Lili realises she wants to be Lili permanently. Lili consults doctor after doctor, all of whom are bow-tied brutes, aside from one, who is sympathetic and agrees to operate. The medical scenes are as heartbreaking as they are harrowing, but Redmayne still doesn’t change the tempo of his performance; still coyly smiles on, with eyes downcast. (Look up, look up! For Christ’s sake, just look up! It’s not going to be what kills you!).

Every role is chronically underwritten. Neither Lili nor Gerda are interesting people beyond the situation they find themselves in. It’s as if the situation is enough, without having to create characters to go with it. This is as much Gerda’s film as Lili’s. She is being called upon to support the person she loves, while that person is effectively erasing their life together, but Vikander (and I blame the script for this, not her) is only ever allowed to express her anguish and ambivalence and confusion through tears. For her, it’s welling up, over and over. Meanwhile, one of Einar’s childhood friends pops up in the form of Matthias Schoenaerts, who is given nothing to do aside from being big, handsome and comforting.

Most irritatingly, a couple of scenes indicate the film this could have been, in that they are at least affecting. One involves a peepshow in Paris, while the other has Lili, after her first operation, working in a department store, and simply enjoying being a woman among women, which is just lovely somehow, and throws some light on why the transformation was necessary. But otherwise, this isn’t remotely compelling plus offers none of the insights I’d hoped for. And now I’ve nothing left to say apart from …Happy New Year?

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Show comments
  • Callipygian

    Christ, Deborah, you really suck up every liberal piety going, don’t you? Including your apparently insatiable d sire for sm ut. Lift your head up: there’s a beautiful world out there.

    • polidorisghost

      Have yourself a good new year

      • Callipygian

        Hey, B or T or whatever. You, too. We’ve got 2 1/2 hours to go here. I can here fireworks popping in the background, behind the waterfall noise of my swimming pool.

        May you enjoy 2016! I certainly intend to. My life is in the midst of a wonderful transformation. The soundtrack for which begins at 4:37 (and ends at 5:34):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3bxB9CMpdM

        • polidorisghost

          Ok, what have you done?

          • Callipygian

            Well, not everything about the film matches, fortunately :^0

          • polidorisghost

            Thank goodness for that.
            For a minute…
            I’ve bought a little two-seater at last, but as I am stricken with gout I can’t get into it – how the gods mock me!

          • Callipygian

            Sorry to hear that, but look at it this way: not everyone has a two-seater to look forward to zipping around in once the gout has gone….

          • polidorisghost

            You’re supposed to ask to see a picture

          • Callipygian

            Oh. May I see a picture, pretty please?! Look, I’ve even put my motoring goggles on %^0

          • polidorisghost

            As you ask so nicely I will send you one

          • Callipygian

            Oh! Thank you so much : )

          • Sue Smith

            I’ve been highly entertained by these last dozen or so exchanges!!

            Please, what are “the fens”? (Spoiler alert: Australian)

          • jatrius

            Tediously flat area of criss-crossing canals and channels in East Anglia; much of which has been made from land reclaimed from the North Sea

          • Sue Smith

            Oh, the British holiday coast!!!

          • Callipygian

            Ah, gorgeous! It’s hot, and it’s my favourite colour as well!

          • polidorisghost

            She make a lot of noise and you have to anticipate when you might like to stop.
            Loads of fun.
            I will have to take up yoga again so that I can exit with my dignity intact.

          • Callipygian

            Ha ha! I can do lots of things in yoga. However, I lack the technique at the moment to achieve this:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e52f8e63acb0d17101c1c1db945a4136b4059710cbc727206f4cc95458b1bb81.png

          • polidorisghost

            Well that’s one way of getting out of the driving seat.
            Getting in is of course fairly easy: You just let go and trust in the lord.

            Goodnight pops. I’m off to bed – I can hop quite fast now.

          • Callipygian

            That’s good, darling. Heh heh heh. See you next time!

          • Violin Sonata.

            Hope you had a good little sleepy.You can rest assured that the Speccie hasn’t gone on a rampage removing all your posts. Maybe
            more tonic with it next time. Hops along old chap >:-)

          • polidorisghost

            Hey, they removed about eight posts.
            Anyway, they miss out on a subscription for another year, so good value
            I can almost walk , tomorrow I drive the car, so watch out if you are pottering around the fens.

          • Violin Sonata.

            Might I suggest nettle tea, for the toe. It tastes disgusting, but natures
            medicine/ or revenge for over indulgence– no sympathy from me
            So the fens are out of bounds for driving, its a bit too flat anyway,
            so no fun going down hills. Good gliding clubs around there and its
            brilliant to land in those fields.

          • polidorisghost

            I was hoping for sympathy from you.
            The fens also have some great mountain rescue teams (actually I think they are really drinking clubs in disguise)

          • Violin Sonata.

            ‘ The fens also have some great mountain rescue teams ( actually I think they are drinking clubs in disguise)’ Oh you mean the hallucinating effects of that
            potent homebrew that’s kept in the shed. There are bigger bumps in a
            rice pudding then the fens.
            No sympathy a relative had gout and his hobbling was hilarious, until a big
            red toe appeared when you were having tea and cake.
            Men are martyrs to their suffering and never do it in silence. But hey I
            did suggest nettle tea ;-D but quite seriously if you get that avoid tomatoes
            and all acidic foods that aggravate inflammatory issues.

          • polidorisghost

            I think the mountain rescue teams are a joke – they can go off to a team meeting and get sozzled confident that they won’t be called into action, ever

          • Violin Sonata.

            Good grief, I don’t think I had the flexibility for that movement even
            even around ten years of age. I’d end up in a full body plaster cast.
            I am also hugely accident prone so wouldn’t ever even try it 🙂

        • Sue Smith

          Dave Grusin – all round amazing composer and musician!!!

  • polidorisghost

    “(Look up, look up! For Christ’s sake, just look up! It’s not going to be what kills you!)”
    Maybe he’s a lousy actor: One eyebrow for purplexed, two for surprised.

    • Sue Smith

      LOL x 100!!!!

  • Violin Sonata.

    This film is shown through the soft focus lens of 21 century political correctness, based
    on a true person, reality would have been more harsh when everything wasn’t forced fed as
    ‘ being acceptable ‘.
    I should imagine his/her wife Greta was the most compelling character, supporting her husband
    regardless of losing him. Would it have been better for her to have walked away.
    He died in the end, when the womb transplant went wrong.

    • Sue Smith

      Spoiler alert!!!

  • King Kibbutz

    It is surely in the pipeline.
    The scene in the birthing room when the screaming and swearing is abruptly ended, the little parcel wrenched out and the midwife dabbing around. (Let’s hear it for midhusbands by the way)
    Gasping Mum asks ‘Well, what is it?’
    ‘It’s a baby. It’s hospital policy to reserve judgement on that one and we advise both parents that they should discard any notion of ‘he’ or ‘she’ until the child feels comfortable to commit in either direction.’

    What utter nonsense is all of this.

    • Sue Smith

      Absolutely agree. It’s entirely risible but, above all else, ferociously BORING and humourless to the max.

    • Nell

      or maybe gender is a made up construct? so you honestly think if someone is born with a penis then they will like the color blue and monster trucks? and that if you’re born a girl you’re destined for the kitchen? the idea of gender is merely a societal restriction and the fact that you want to restrict your child based on something as simple as their gender is so ridiculous it’s unreal and I hope you never have children hahaha

      • King Kibbutz

        You’re a bit late there Nell old pal. My seed is well and truly sown, grown and flown.
        (Don’t know if you’ve noticed but your shift button seems to be sticking?)

        • Nell

          you have grown children and you still sit at home making fun of transgender people and pointing out typing styles like it’s a valid response to someone calling out your bullshit? I feel so bad for your children, they can’t have turned out well having you as a role model

          • King Kibbutz

            My take on transgender people is that they suffer from an affliction not served at all well by being lied to. I refuse to accept the ridiculous urges made by sponges, that we should close our eyes to reality in order to accommodate or ’embrace’ whatever happens to be the latest minority to pull on the mantle of victimhood.

            Your concern for my family is touching and redundant.

            As a matter of interest, why do you insist on not using cap’s? Is it a mark of identity sort of thing?

  • jim

    Trannies, gays, feminists,……..all make tedious subjects for conversation.movies etc…and from the trailer I would say this effeminate actor has made a clown of himself. ..I’m more of a Robert Mitchum fan myself.

    • Sue Smith

      LOL. I loved Mitchum too. “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison” was one of his best!!!

      I don’t think Redmayne has made a clown of himself so much as defaulted to type casting. I like the young man because he’s got class, but I don’t think I’ll go and see his new film.

  • Mr Grumpy

    I’m not surprised if the film is dull. Propaganda generally is, and that’s what a film on this topic must now be if it is to get past the pc censors. Soft interiors kept free of hard questions.

    A guy gets off on fondling a frock, and in that epiphany he becomes “truly” Lili as opposed to “truly” Einar who has been married to Gerda for six years, great s#x and all. Does this narrative not invite questions on any level whatsoever? And who should ask them if not Gerda?

    But no, in the year which Caitlyn née Bruce became woman of she cannot be both a sceptic and a good person. So all the poor woman can do is keep the waterworks turned on. An ultra-Victorian notion of wifely duty, you might think (if you were allowed to).

    • Sue Smith

      Excellent comments. And, as with the story of Lee Liberace (Michael Douglas, Matt Damon), there was lots of potential for a much much more interesting film. In all, it was a charicature of Liberace in a pretty piece of mimicry. Damon’s was the standout performance. A disappointing film but a token gesture towards ‘legitimizing’ gayness.

  • Sue Smith

    Eddie is suitably androgynous to play this part; I’ve only seen excerpts on the “Graham Norton Show”. Eddie is very talented, make no mistake, and I loved him in the WW1 TV drama series. I thought he was phenomenal, but I’ve noticed he easily reverts to familiar acting tics – like pausing, squinting his eyes,lowering his voice to a whisper, stammered delivery (to denote insecurity, lack of confidence). After a while you grow tired of these things.

    Not like Joaquin Phoenix, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis – all these actors have PHENOMENAL range and are absolutely compelling to watch. Eddie wants to be careful he doesn’t just fall into the stereotype roles.

    • sharoncoburn

      Seriously?! Jack Nicholson always plays Jack Nicholson! Crazy, misogynistic, drunken, cranky weirdo! Have to go with you on Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix though. They are true actors – it is totally possible to engage them as characters, and never be reminded of any other part they have played….

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    More rubbish from Hollywood pretending to be art.

  • MARIA

    Having transgendered and had an operation to change my physical appearance to reflect my true gender , I think this film was excellent. When Lili gets on the train to go and have her operation , this totally reflected my final journey to hospital . The last few hours before a life changing operation go by in a surreal way and watching this film awoke all the emotions that had laid dormant in me for the last 3 years….. I was sobbing by the end of the film…….If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film…….It was brilliant

    • Sue Smith

      I can understand that you related to the film but, honestly, why do we have to have entertainment and culture which “explores” the difficulties faced by minorities when we still have so many shared problems – like poverty, violence, economic downturns and now comprehensive cultural change through mass migration? There are still so many shared stories to tell, let alone historical ones. Instead, many of these kinds of films, like the one we are discussing, simply become agitprop.

      • MARIA

        ….sometimes it is good to have your horizons broadened. If you don’t like a film , then don’t watch it , simple. Everything we see is subjective and people can be very narrow-minded when it comes to anything that they consider to be “not normal”…….but then ; “What is normal ?”
        There will be plenty of films about poverty etc. but will that change our perceptions ? No……. The human race is destined to die out……. we are destroying a beautiful planet (which will also die at some point )….people still argue about the most petty of things in life and do not see the bigger picture…..will one film about being transgender change anything ? No………..and if you think it will , then you are missing the point……

        • Sue Smith

          Thanks for your comments.

        • Heidi Wikström

          Thank you, Maria, for your posts, you made your point nicely. I’m not very deeply interested in transgender issues, since they don’t affect me or people near me. Still, it is interesting to know how very different lives people might lead for example just next door to me. Sue Smith’s view on the matter makes me grin, art is art, simple as that and the subject doesn’t count but the best pieces of art are like poems and thus capable of capturing glimpses of the beauty and tragedy of being human. Is it allowed to make a film about Finnish people, then, we are apparently a minority in this world?

      • Terry Field

        Why do the censors pounce on the word ‘n0b’ and ‘tranny’? Do they not like radios? How do they listen to radio 3

        • Sue Smith

          They ‘channel’ Radio 3, since they have preternatural skills ‘way beyond those of mortal men’. And continue having an each-way bet!!

    • Hugh

      “If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film”

      Surely if it requires one to have actually experienced the situation to appreciate what it’s trying to convey then it’s not a great film.

      • artemis in france

        You’ve hit the nail on the head.

      • MARIA

        I thought it was a great film………………….

        • Hugh

          Yes, I understood that.

      • chocoholic17

        but it obviously doesn’t resonate as much for people like you as compared to those who have been in that situation. the film showed the transgender process, and if you don’t think deeper into the scenes like how people like maria already can because they are transgenders, you will obviously think the film isn’t that good; and thats only because you can’t understand the film well enough.

        • Hugh

          I haven’t experienced many of the things I see in film, so I don’t find it obvious at all I should require first-hand experience to appreciate it. I haven’t seen it, so I’ve no idea if it’s any good or not. However, since it is not intended for a purely transgendered audience, if it does fail to convey the purpose and meaning of scenes to all but the small proportion of its viewers who are, then it will be very hard to consider it a success.

          Sorry to repeat myself, but claiming a film intended for the general public can only be criticised (although apparently anyone is entitled to praise it) by those who have experienced the subject is nonsense.

          • chocoholic17

            i am not in any way saying that one should require first-hand experience to appreciate a film. i am just saying that its obviously easier for transgenders out there to understand what the film is trying to convey. as for the majority of the public, which is us, it is harder to connect with the emotions the film has to show, so unless we really think deeper into it, and really try to understand from each of the characters’ view, we will not understand the film fully. so how would we then be able to critique fairly?

            hence i just feel that we shouldn’t be too quick to judge whether a film is bad or good, especially regarding topics like these because it does happen to people, we’re just not the ones who do. so i’m not saying that only transgenders have the right to criticize the film, but as ‘outsiders’ viewing the film it is only right that we make sure our critiques on the film have value and meaning before saying them; because on first instinct we obviously are not able to understand as well as transgenders.

            perhaps you should watch the film, and really analyse it. the film is extremely thought evoking and profound.

          • Hugh

            “i am not in any way saying that one should require first-hand experience to appreciate a film… i’m not saying that only transgenders have the right to criticize the film”

            You may not be, but the comment I took issue with plainly was; “If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film”

            Your suggestion that a failure to appreciate probably reflects a failure to think deeply and try to understand the characters’ views, on the other hand, is simply a touch patronising. Perhaps Deborah Ross has done this and still concluded it’s not a terribly compelling film.

            You are quite entitled to disagree with her. I have no issue with people who like or dislike the film. Films tend to be highly subjective, don’t they? I do, however, deeply take issue with the idea of qualifying levels of experience before one can validly criticise a work of art. And, again, at the risk of repeating myself, it does seem to be criticism that is a problem. I cannot see why, following the logic and since you are not transgendered, your praise for the film might equally not reflect a failure to think deeply about it.

          • chocoholic17

            yes, i can see why you disagree with the statement, “If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film”, but can you see the reason behind her saying that? as a transgender, as a minority in society, when a film finally makes your voice heard, when a film finally does you justice, its only natural that you wouldn’t want people speaking so casually about it and criticizing it however they want to. that’s why i feel that the point she is trying to bring across, is that if you were a transgender, you wouldn’t judge that the film was bad. hence the statement “If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film”. she could’ve phrased it better, i do agree, however the point she was driving at was all the same: you haven’t been in our shoes, you haven’t felt what we’ve felt, how are you able to understand the film as well as us?

            perhaps Deborah Ross did think deeply and still felt that the film wasn’t good; but when i read her analysis of the film, there were some critiques on some scenes that really lacked depth in understanding.

            go around and ask any transgender you know, do they feel The Danish Girl was a great film. i can assure you every single one of them would say yes because the film speaks for them, speaks for the voice they were unable to have. and being someone that isn’t a transgender, the fact that i am able to put myself in their shoes (although i know i can never be able to fully comprehend their emotions) and analyse the scenes; i know i have thought deeply about it.

            an analysis is a thorough reflection of whether one has thought deeply into something. so many renowned movie critics have praised the film, but none of them are transgenders. why? because they really spend time into dissecting the film and understanding why this scene was placed in this part of the film, why did the characters have these kind of reactions, etc. etc. hence there is a flaw in your question, because its completely easy to tell if someone has put their heart into reflecting and thinking deeply into something based on their analysis and response to it.

          • Hugh

            “its completely easy to tell if someone has put their heart into
            reflecting and thinking deeply into something based on their analysis
            and response to it.”

            Yes, I see now how easy it is: if they agree with your evaluation of the film they’ve thought deeply about it; if they haven’t, they haven’t.

          • chocoholic17

            i completely did not mean it in this way.
            for example, how does a teacher grade your english essay? content wise, it is obviously by your analysis. whether or not the analysis is in depth, thought thoroughly and through a broadened perspective, etc. etc.
            it IS simple to tell if someone has put in effort into trying to understand a certain topic or issue.

    • Terry Field

      Your ‘true gender’ is what you were BORN with!!!!!!!
      Modern self delusional sillyness; wrapped up in emotional fragility and thin-skinned neediness.
      YUK
      Sobbing.
      HELP!

      • MARIA

        I am called Maria , not Marvin ????…..

        M… A… R… I… A

        Your true gender is what you are born with…possibly… unfortunately physical attributes do not always align with the mental and emotional side.
        There is no such thing as male or female , we are somewhere along the line that adjoins the two . I wonder where you are on that scale ?
        I know where I am 🙂

        • @BelRochy

          LOL, GET REKT TERRY

          Maria, you are strong and amazing. Just keep the comebacks that good and you’ll know you’ve done a great job in life!

          But, I have to say this… Though this movie looks nice and I’m super interested in watching it… Coming from a movie-obsessed family and having read SO many blogs about this film… The plot seems dull. It seems too simple… And HOW could they have done that when this story has so much to offer?!?!

          Anyways, I think you are both right and wrong when you say “If you haven’t experienced anything like it , then you can’t diss the film”. From a movie point of view, if it’s neccesary for one to have lived such strong emotions to understand the film, then it is not an amazing movie. But from YOUR point of view, I can perfectly understand one needs to be open minded to grasp what this whole story tries to say.

          I’m gonna give it a try! Can’t be that bad, right? 🙂

    • Nell

      Maria, you are brave to be commenting on what seems to be such a judgemental site. I wish you the best of luck with everything x

      • MARIA

        Thankyou Nell…People are entitled to their own thoughts………you can’t please everyone……some people can see no further than the end of their nose……I am pretty thick skinned 🙂
        Happy New Year……you sound “normal” …. we may get on 🙂

        • Nell

          honestly I think you have a thicker skin than I do! haha I don’t even know about normal, perhaps just.. sane..??!? happy new year to you too!

    • Halanefleur

      I am glad to have read your comment and to find someone open to discuss their experience. I did enjoy the film, although I think that more explicit exploration of Lili’s revelation would have been clearer for most people. I have a question, though, regarding the first part of the movie. I felt like Lili’s becoming was very sexualized. The slow caress of the camera along her legs, her flirting, her almost sexual reaction to female clothes, her exploration of sexuality by mirroring the lady in the cabin. Is that an accurate representation, from your experience? Until Paris, the look on female physique seemed strikingly masculine for me. For a moment there, I was confused: did she feel like a woman or was the idea of being a woman exciting? It passed as the movie went on, but it was there. I am just curious about how accurate that gaze on the female body was. The accent on performance seemed accurate, but that sexual gazing caught my attention.

      • MARIA

        Well , from my own journey , there was a certain amount of sexual excitement at the beginning. Realising that one could start to try and dress and behave like a woman was exciting. I went to fetish clubs for two years previous to deciding to transition , learning how to dress and act within the confines of a safe place.
        At that period there was a huge amount of sexual excitement , but that may have been down to my late sexual development , as opposed to wanting to change gender. In fact at that point I had no intention of changing gender.That developed over the couple of years , as I was becoming more and more comfortable behaving and dressing like a woman.
        Sone people may find that disgusting , going to a fetish club , but I can assure you that clubs like that are a lot safer to go to than a normal night club !

        From Lilli’s point of view I , of course , shouldn’t really comment as I am not Lilli.
        But…The camera , I think , did sexualise her realisation of gender-change. So , quite possibly , there was a degree of it in her mind.

        With the masculine look aspect I can say that , from my experience , that at certain points of my transition my own “looks” were indeed confusing and hard to read from a gender perspective , by other people. One becomes “comfortable” about your gender , in your mind and the “looks” become secondary.

        No two transitions will ever be the same. It is not possible to say : “you have to do it this way.”
        Each individual who transitions will tell his , or her , own story and each will be different.

        Thank you for your interesting comment and questions Halanefleur 🙂

        Sometimes I rattle on as the stuff comes out of my head , I apologise if I haven’t answered your question fully ! 🙂

        Please feel free to ask more questions !

        • Halanefleur

          Thank you for your insight =) I have a lot to think about now!

  • BillRees

    I saw this film yesterday and found it desperately dull on a number of levels.

    I agree with Deborah Ross about the qualify of acting. Unfortunately I thought that Eddie Redmayne was playing a caricature in both the male and female roles.

    Alicia Vikander, on the other hand, was a modern young woman from 2016, not 1926. I found that she and Redmayne seemed to lack any genuine empathy for each other in their roles and didn’t make any concessions to the period in which the film was set.

    There was much the film could have explored but didn’t.

    Instead we were treated to endless close-up shots of Redmayne’s facial mannerisms, which did grow extremely annoying very quickly.

    The other thing that struck me was that Redmayne looked like a man in drag even when he was supposed to be a woman, which doesn’t do a great deal for the cause of transgenderism, I wouldn’t think.

    • MARIA

      Transgenderism is not all about “how you look” , it’s about “how you feel” too

      • MARIA

        Facial mannerisms are a very important factor , if you want to “pass”….. The film hi-lights that fact. One does not simply become a “woman” overnight , it can take many months or even years to perfect …….assuming that one wants to ……. it is not compulsory.

      • Terry Field

        BUT the origins are in the cells, old fraudster.
        And they do NOT change.
        As the blessed Germaine would no doubt say.

      • Nell

        definitely! good point!!!

    • Danielle Pike

      I think one has to remember, when it comes to lili’s masculine look, is that hormones weren’t really known back then, there was no tetesterone and estrogen. So there was no medication to help soften the look. So of course when one was transgendering back then, they would’ve looked like men dressed in ‘drag’.

      • wompwomp

        but records of the real lili elbe suggest that she may have been intersex to begin with. even when she was living as einar, people thought that it was a woman promenading in men’s clothing. no doubt the film production team would have known that since they did research so……………….no. eddie redmayne really didn’t have to look like he was in drag during the movie. have you googled pics of lili elbe? not as good looking as eddie redmayne but definitely looks much more feminine. even the film itself alludes to her having higher estrogen levels than normal. o.o

  • Terry Field

    There is something slightly revolting about that picture.

  • v2787

    I’m a male-to-female trans person. I really, really wanted to love this film–but I can’t. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who found it shallow and rather boring. There’s a great movie that needs to be made about the remarkable experience of discovering and learning to embrace a gender diverse identity, but “The Danish Girl” is not it. That film has yet to be made.

  • v2787

    I’m a male-to-female trans person. I really, really wanted to love this film–but I can’t. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who found it shallow and rather boring. There’s a great movie that needs to be made about the remarkable experience of discovering and learning to embrace a gender diverse identity, but “The Danish Girl” is not it. That film has yet to be made.

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