In just one word, ‘The Danish Girl’ is finesse. In more than one word, this film could be summarised not only as the story of the first case accredited of a transgender woman but also a vision of life, love and individuality. With this new title, British director Tom Hooper has managed to turn this incredible story into an excellent work of art.
‘The Danish Girl’ could also be defined as a moving portrait of its protagonist. It tells the story of Danish artist Lili Elbe (born Einar Wegener). Eddie Redmayne, who plays Elbe/Wegener has been responsible for not only portraying both a man and a woman, but also showing a unique transformation of their body and personality, which is the film’s main focus. Despite its few nominations, both at the Oscars and BAFTA’s, it’s obvious that Redmayne’s work in this film will be recognised, even if there was no award for him.
What we’ll see in Redmayne’s performance is a man constantly seeking his true identity, with the support and help of his wife, painter Gerda Gottlieb; played by Swedish actress Alice Vikander, who also has done an excellent work: showing in her character generosity and lots of sensitivity. So, finesse in absolutely in everything: in every gesture, every word, every moment…even in how it’s presented to the audience.
Hooper pays a lot of attention to detail, and has been really well-concerned about the montage. The result of that is an excellent understanding of what happens and a perfect demonstration of that extraordinary change. It could give the impression of slowness, which can result in being quite irritating. But in this case, that should be forgiven, as it’s a film that will inevitably make oneself reflect on what being human is.
As said, the film is like a living picture, that’s why it focuses a lot on individuality, and therefore, the human body. In the end, that attention and importance of the body results in an exercise of voyeurism, which some will even enjoy. Hooper has managed to treat everything as an object and subject, that’s why the film will always be delightful to watch.
‘The Danish Girl’ is like a flower: delicate, fragile and yet so beautiful. Without a doubt, it may become one of this year’s most acclaimed titles, regardless of the awards that it could be given. It’s a unique experience, in all senses.