Classic Elsternwick - Palace Como - Saturday 23 January 2016, 10:50am
Running time: 120m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: M (Nudity, sex, mature themes, violence)
Release date: 21/01/16
Rating: 9/10 (4/5 ME, 5/5 DP)
Accomplished landscape painter Einer Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his aspiring portrait painter wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) are living a blissful life in the vibrant arts scene of 1920s Copenhagen. When Einar agrees to pose as a ballet dancer for one of Gerda's paintings, the exhilaration of wearing women's clothes unleashes a suppressed longing. Gerda helps Einar transform into 'Lily' for a party, but once Lily has made her public debut it becomes increasingly difficult to suppress her.
Directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérbles and The King's Speech), The Danish Girl is a stunning and moving film about a relationship in crisis and the challenge of accepting an inevitable change. Eddie Redmayne's performances as Einer and Lily are subtle and layered and far exceeds his performance in The Theory of Everything. The line between the characters blur but the strength of his performances add a refreshing complexity. Alicia Vikander (Bent Thumbs female actor of 2015) doesn't have as much to work with as the patient Gerda but brings an appropriate intensity to the role along with copious tears. Matthias Schoenaerts (Far from the Madding Crowd and A Little Chaos) as art dealer and Einer's childhood friend Hans provides the perfect bridge between the wife longing for her distant husband and the husband longing to be herself.
The cinematography and deliberate use of composition is stunning, though the symmetry becomes repetitive. Production design is exquisite and the costuming (particularly Lily's outfits) have a sensible elegance to them. Surprisingly The Danish Girl hasn't been nominated for best picture at this yesr's Oscar nominations, though the two leads have received a nod, albeit with Alicia Vikander in (apparently) a supporting role. Highly recommended. (ME)
88th Academy Awards
2016 BAFTA Awards
5th AACTA International Awards
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards
73rd Golden Globe Awards