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The Danish Girl

Tom Hooper’s (THE KING’S SPEECH) lavish reimagining of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first transsexuals ever to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

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Einar and Gerda are the stars of the Copenhagen artist community in the 20s. Very young, very in love, and very bohemian. He paints melancholy landscapes and she paints portraits - less successfully. One day, she asks him to sub for a model so she can continue working. Einar puts women’s stockings and a tutu on. The experience awakens a need and Einar surprises Gerda by wearing her nightgown a short while after. Gerda plays along in an unbiased and gentle way and takes Einar to an artist’s ball in drag as her cousin Lili. Lily is gradually more present. Einar leaves the role less frequently, the role that let him discover his true self. He doesn’t paint anymore. Gerda gets lonelier the more the man in their marriage disappears. They desperately approach numerous doctors till they come across a surgeon from Dresden who is willing to make an experiment: turning Einar into Lili. Sumptuously arranged and mannered, THE DANISH GIRL with Tom Hooper (THE KING’S SPEECH) at the helm is probably the first mainstream transgender film in film history. Eddie Redmayne as Lili/Einar is not only extraordinarily pretty both as a man and a woman, with his delicate features and translucent skin, but he also plays the transformation so credibly, that one suffers with him when he sometimes has to abstain from wearing women’s clothes. That alone makes THE DANISH GIRL a political milestone. However, Lili Elbe, the first transsexual to undergo gender reassignment surgery whose diary this film was based on's complex and sad life is not given it's due.

Toni Ohms (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA/Großbritannien 2015, 120 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Tom Hooper
Author: Lucinda Coxon
DOP: Danny Cohen
Montage: Melanie Oliver
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Distributor: Universal Pictures International
Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Sebastian Koch, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Emerald Fennell
FSK: 6
Release: 07.01.2016

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