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The Danish Girl

This weekend I was at a small holiday gathering with friends. Everytime I mentioned I saw The Danish Girl earlier that day (because of course asking me what movies I've seen recently is the perfect conversation starter), the response was an enthusiastic "ooh how was it?" to which I usually replied with "fascinating".

Following up his Academy Award winning performance in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne stars in an equally Oscar-bait-y role as the titular Danish Girl, Lili Elbe. Elbe, nee
Einar Wegener, was among the first people in history to undergo gender transition surgery. The character, and Wegener's wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), were real people that existed. The story around them is mostly fictionalized.

And yes, like I said, fascinating. It's just such an interesting, unique, and timely story with truly intriguing characters with incredible chemistry. I remember watching some of the early scenes, wishing for the type of relationship they have, filled with so much honesty, trust, passion, and fun. Finding out later it was fictionalized did at least put that into perspective. All aspects of the characters and story grabbed me, and you really just need to experience the roller coaster along with them.

My one minor complaint, and it's more of a whiny gripe, is that while Redmayne's performance is utterly fantatic and worthy of nominations and smaller awards (I have other thoughts on where the big prize should go this year), I felt like so much of it was very similar to how he played Stephen Hawking. Yes these are both vastly different characters, but I got the same sort of "I'm acting vulnerable" vibe from him, relying on much of the same expressions and instincts. I'm not saying he's not good at it, but I look forward to the day of seeing him return to something lighter like My Week With Marilyn or (at least the first half of) Les Miserables. Still, if we're talking great performances of the year, this is certainly one worth watching.

The Danish Girl - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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