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