Fresh from his Oscar winning performance as Steven Hawking, the film sees Eddie Redmayne take on the role of Einar Wegener, husband of the illustrator and artist Gerda Wegener (played by Alicia Vikander). When Gerda asks her husband to stand in for a female model – and the popularity of the portraits leads to more paintings of Einar as a woman – Einar slowly develops an awareness of his true female self, and begins to live as a woman called Lili Elbe. Einar eventually undergoes surgery to fully become Lili, the person trapped inside the body of a man.
Redmayne’s performance as he struggles through the hurdles of early 20th century gender ideology is powerful and full of effort. His willowy frame and twisted body gives a physical performance that in some ways rivals The Theory of Everything – yet it is his face, his broken smiles and glittering eyes, that remind us that in many ways we have seen this before in his portrayal of Hawking: we can see Redmayne through a palimpsest of Redmayne. Yet this is layered, too, for we are also aware that Einar is standing in front of Lili the whole time, so a familiar actor like Redmayne does bring the ultimate humanity and accessibility to an audience.
Delicate, masterful, and above all admirable, The Danish Girl may not be bringing something as forcefully new to the transgender movement but is certainly bringing it into the mainstream.
The Danish Girl: UK release date The Danish Girl will released in UK cinemas on 1 January.
Our transgender film of the year so far is Francois Ozon's The New Girlfriend: a modern day fairytale starring Romain Duris and Anaïs Demoustier. Click here to read our preview.
oscar nominees: who should win?
|What||The Danish Girl|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
01 Jan 16 – 01 Feb 16, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£determined by venue|
|Website||Click here to go to The Danish Girl IMDB page|