In a year of outstanding thespians plying their trade in some very challenging roles, Eddie Redmayne joins that elite list for his take on Lili Elbe, a transgender person that was one of the first to receive sex reassignment surgery. The film is based on a fictional novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. It is loosely based on the real life characters.
The cast of The Danish Girl also features the outstanding talent of Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Gerda Wegener. Gerda is Elbe’s wife, fellow painter and long suffering supporter. Her level of support, selflessness and compassion for her husband is at the heart of the film.
With all of the pieces in place for an emotional cinema going experience, why then does the film leave the viewer feeling so detached? It’s shot beautifully, maybe too beautifully and what is essentially a tragic story looks so good. It might also be that the main players lifestyle as the arty almost carefree bohemian types leads to a bit of a disconnect.
It’s worth seeing for the acting performances alone but it leaves one wanting to feel more connected to the story and to feel more invested in their eventual outcome.