The Danish Girl is a powerful story of the hardships of living a life for which you do not belong. Director Tom Hooper takes on the story, which is based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff which centers around Lili Elbe, a Danish transgender woman and one of the first identifiable recipients of sex reassignment surgery.
The story takes place in 1920’s Copenhagen, where artist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) and her husband and fellow artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) reside. A normal young couple with aspirations of being successful painters and raising a family, until a secret from Einar’s past is awakened. After Gerda asks Einar to to stand in for a female model, the paintings begin to receive a lot of attention which leads Gerda to continue to paint Einar as a woman. Einar begins to enjoy this new found alter ego and begins to live under the name Lili. Feeling that he is not meant to live his life as a man any longer, he begins to become distant from his loving wife, a move which leads to his quest to have sex reassignment surgery. Will a love that once bloomed within Gerda and Einar find a way to evolve as Einar embarks on this life changing quest?
Eddie Redmayne, once again, turns in an Oscar winning performance as Lili. His transformation and heartbreaking portrayal is a marvelous example of the emotional and painstaking journey that transgenders endured in the early 20th century. Alicia Vikander is outstanding with an emotionally charged performance. Her strong will and loyalty to her husband is what makes this film so beautiful.
The Danish Girl is a highly emotional film that will leave you breathless and emotional drawn, but the journey is well worth it.
3 1/2 out of 5
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