Review: The Danish Girl

"I dream her dreams."

In 1920's Denmark, two painters Einar and Gerda Wegener (Eddie Redmaybe and Alicia Vikander) are happily married. Einar has all the acclaim, Gerda is still trying to make her mark. What starts out as asking her husband to put on stockings and shoes to finish a portrait of her friend, Ulla (Amber Heard) starts escalating to Einar wearing her nightgown during a bit of foreplay, to actually dressing up as a woman and going by the name "Lili" at an art show. But Einar has always gravitated towards women's clothes, you can see it in the light touches he gives them. Soon, he wants to only be Lili and both he and Gerda struggle with the hurdles to come.

The film captures Einar's pain well. Being born with the wrong gender has to be one of the hardest things in the world, I would think. Especially so long ago. You really want to just hold Lili and tell her it's okay. The same compassion is felt for Gerda who goes from having a husband she adores to losing him and gaining a friend. 

I can say now without a shadow of a doubt (I believed everyone before) but there is no way in hell Alicia Vikander should be put in the supporting actress slot during awards season. I actually think she has a hair more screen time then Redmayne. She's also literally referred to as "The Danish Girl" the film's title. This story is as much about Gerda as it is about Lili and this category fraud is ridiculous.

The acting in this film is wonderful. This is the best I've ever seen Vikander and Redmayne always delivers. It's shot beautifully and the costumes are lovely, but the film feels dreadfully longer than it really is. The pacing really kills a lot of it's momentum, which is unfortunate for an important film like this one. It feels three hours long. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Don't make her a slut!" - Gerda (Alicia Vikander)


24 comments:

  1. Great review! This doesn't come out here for a few more weeks, but I got the chance to see it back in November and completely agree - this is a film that is all about the acting, especially from Vikander. That she's being lumped in supporting is crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can she even allow that? Do actors not get a say? She should be like "nah..I LEAD that."

      Delete
  2. I'm all in for Vikander this year and her rise. Like...she's so natural and endearing an actress. I can't wait to see this for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's very good for sure. I'll even look past her publicity relationship with Fassbender lol. She's the star here.

      Delete
  3. Yes, Vikander is terrific. Aside from the pacing, this movie sounds excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still worth seeing, it's just shocking how long it feels.

      Delete
  4. omg it feels soooo long. but i think alicia is the standout performance in the movie, which has like no character development.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you point that out, they don't really develop. They stay the same and just learn how to cope. I didn't even think of that until right now. Whoops.

      Delete
  5. I really liked them both, but yes, I think Alicia nearly steals the show, and the movie is kind of told from her perspective anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, another reason why the Supporting campaign is flooring me. I haven't seen Carol yet, but I read the book and it's told from Rooney Mara's characters perspective. I'm sure it's the same thing.

      Delete
  6. Ugggggggh contemplating if I REALLY need to see this in theaters or at all despite the performances. I get super ADD in movies if they drag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate it when films drag. I fret about it when I see long run times lol

      Delete
  7. I have not seen this film yet but I want to. This is not unique in film awards to place someone in a supporting category instead of best category. It must be political and to make sure the person has more of a chance in winning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon level crazy though. She's clearly a lead. Lead Actress isn't even that stacked this year. It's a battle between Brie and Saoirse.

      Delete
  8. I kept hoping for Matthias to grab the dog and leave a bomb in their apartment. I know I was supposed to feel for the main character but he was so selfish and put his wife through so much while almost never being there for her

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really should've explored that more. They didn't even explore his sexual preference. Did he want to be with men now that he was a woman? Does she still like women? Why couldn't she have stayed friends with Gerda, why was she pushing her away? His struggle was hard to watch but I agree, part of it was selfish because he didn't seem to take her feelings into account at all.

      I'm glad hot Belgium guy was there for her. lol

      Delete
  9. I personally thought the film was tedious, but the main saving grace is Alicia Vikander. I felt she gave the most three-dimensional performance and while I would give her a nod for Ex Machina, I'd have no arguments with her being nominated for this. But just as long as she's in the right category.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. She was the best, but definitely not a supporting role.

      Delete
  10. As much as I like Vikander, I think she is campaigning for the right category (supporting). While she is in the movie a lot, I thought that her story took a step back at the last 20 minutes of the film, making it completely Redmayne's film. That made me see that the film wasn't really about her as well, but her relationship with Einar/Lili, in that her perspective only really mattered in terms of their interaction.
    With the reception it was getting, I was hoping the film would be better. Even Vikander's performance wasn't enough to save the film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree, no matter what the story was always about her and how she dealt with Einar, then Lili's situation too. Even as he goes through his surgeries, it still shows the toll it takes on her. I was hoping it would be better too. A B- is very generous, and it's only because of Vikander.

      Delete
  11. Nice review! Some people have been giving Redmayne's performance some really rough reviews. It's nice to see a lighter review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! He's not bad in it. I know Redmayne rubs a lot of people the wrong way but he's a solid actor. That being said, I don't think this is an Oscar worthy performance of his. It's nowhere near Theory of Everything.

      Delete
  12. I was disappointed with the film, but I did like it. There were moments where I thought it was great, especially when it focused on the couple's relationship. The tacky cinematography was BLAH, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vikander was the highlight for me, but I was disappointed too.

      Delete

No seriously, post one. I need attention.