I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year! I gave myself a few weeks off but I am back and ready for all that 2016 has to offer to us film wise! 2016 is already getting off to a great start with the release of The Danish Girl, a film that loosely follows the lives of Danish artists Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) and how their marriage is rocked when Einar comes to realise that he is in fact a woman and proceeds to become the first person to undergo transgender surgery.
Set in Copenhagen in 1926 we are shown a happy loving marriage between Einar and Gerda as both artists pave their way into the creative world, but
one night Gerda’s model cancels and as she has a deadline she asks Einar to pose for her in stockings with the dress draped over him. It is here that Einar begins to realise that all is not right with his way of living and soon it is clear to him that something has to change.
Of course in the 1920’s for a man to state that he was in fact a woman was unheard of and Einar faces many challenges along his journey towards becoming Lili Elbe. It is because of these many challenges that Lili fights and overcomes that she is now seen as a pioneer in the transgender community.
The film has already been nominated for three Golden Globe awards, (including Best Actor and Best Actress for Eddie and Alicia), five BAFTA awards (including Outstanding British Film, Leading Actor and Leading Actress) and whispers of Oscar nominations too. Eddie’s portrayal of Einar/Lili has been widely talked about and he definitely does not disappoint. With the help of plenty of extreme close-ups you can really see the pain that Einar feels as he longs to be who is he really is and later the determination to succeed in his desires. However, for me the stand out performance comes not from Einar/Lili but Gerda. This is a woman who thought her whole life was set. She was happily married, doing a job she loved and planning children in the near future. Then one day she is told that her husband wants to become a woman and therefore changing her life forever. Gerda’s love is so great for Einar that she bravely accepts his wishes and stands by his side through all the ups and downs that occur. Alicia Vikander is phenomenal as Gerda, she really shines in this character during both happy and sad moments. I think that this role really shows off what a great actress Alicia is and will hopefully lead her into bigger and better roles. This definitely won’t be the last we see of her!
Overall The Danish Girl is brilliantly acted and is a story that will stay in your mind. It has been released at a time when transgender issues are very much in the public eye but I think Eddie does a great job at showing the evolution of Lili in a sensitive manner. One thing I didn’t like though was how little Lili thought of Gerda and how she must be feeling through this change. Yes it is Lili that had to face the most challenges but Gerda too had to come to terms with losing the man she loved whilst trying to support this new version of him (all of which is brilliantly acted by Alicia and is the reason why I think she is the stand out of the film). That’s nothing against the film though, it’s definitely worth a watch and I hope it wins many of the awards its been nominated for!