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The Danish Girl serves as another showcase for Eddie Redmayne's talent -- and poignantly explores thought-provoking themes with a beautifully filmed biopic drama.
All Critics (232)
| Top Critics (40)
| Fresh (155)
| Rotten (77)
| DVD (1)
The Danish Girl has charm, but not quite passion.
Only Vikander's performance elevates it above its pretty surface. Her Gerda tells us a story of a woman desperately in love with a man who's vanished, but whose eyes still gaze at her.
"The Danish Girl" is beautifully shot and tastefully made and acted, but only Vikander seems willing to take chances. Happily, she does.
Only when the camera is on Vikander does the film transcend its artifice. In one of the year's best performances, she imbues Gerda with such poignancy and grace that Redmayne all but fades into the background.
Eventually, [Hooper] surrenders to the visual and psychological displays attendant on Redmayne's prolonged transformation from Einar to Lili.
A sweet and inoffensive drama located in a pretty art deco past that makes the experience of transgender people palatable to a mainstream audience.
The whole film feels very dated but also, in spite of it being "based on a true story", false.
The most gorgeous pictures in the world can't cover up phoniness, and that's exactly what Hooper and Redmayne's Lili feels like: phony. A pretty portrait of the wrong woman.
The Danish Girl is certainly well-directed and certainly boasts great performances, but the story sells audiences short. [Full Review in Spanish]
While Redmayne bravely steps into a unique role, it is Gerda's perpective and Vikander's acting that stand out.
While the film has flaws that hinder it from being fully gripping (the last act in particular), Hooper has made a dazzling picture that is just another notch on his shiny awards season belt.
Looks as flat as a board. It has zero interest in composition, or any elements that might suggest film is a visual language... However, the film's self-serving faux-progressiveness is a worse offense.
Lili Elbe becomes the first transgender person to undergo sex reassignment surgery, which shakes her marriage to Gerda Wegener.
Despite the many talents of Eddie Redmayne, fresh off his Oscar win as Stephen Hawking, Alicia Vikander is the reason to watch this film. She gives a nuanced, remarkable performance, alternately loving Einar unconditionally, then realizing that conditions are a part of life and love.
The rest of the plot doesn't do a lot. Most of the plot events are predictable and aren't all that incredibly rendered.
Overall, Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress, but she's really a co-protagonist, carrying this film from beginning to end.
"The Danish Girl" is a beautiful film with good intentions, but it fails to appreciate the complexity of the issues tackled. In a strangely tone-deaf approach, Einar/Lili's transgender identity is portrayed almost as a fetish -- something that emerges as the result of trying on a dress in a juvenile prank. Surely the transgender community and the audience deserve more than that hogwash! Efforts are made later in the film to make the identity issue more deep-seated, but they are meager and fail to revise the initial impression. This is a substantial failing for a film ostensibly driven by some of the primary stresses surrounding gender identity. The film gets better in the last half and winds up being quite touching once we accept there's more to it than just a cross-dressing fetish.
Despite the directorial problems, the firm has fine cinematography, costumes and sound. Vikander is wonderful, but Radmayne is too simple to convey the depth of emotions that must be antagonizing his character.
Hooper is a desperate award hunter who never takes risks even with this kind of material in his hands, trying so hard to make it all wholesome and palatable for a mainstream audience that he even includes a martyr wife who stays beside her husband till the end no matter what.
"The Danish Girl" follows Ina as he and his wife are both painters. His wife Gerta, who is much more acclaimed, is on the verge of being seen by great companies, as she deals with her husband slowly wanting to become a woman. Over the years, she drew him as a woman for her portraits, and one day it just clicked. Based on the true story, it is always hard to criticize the events, but when your film solely relies on the dramatic heft over some of the very important details, it will suffer greatly. There were many elements, mainly due to the script itself, that felt very emotionally charged with not enough explanation to make you fully understand what the characters are going through. Tom Hooper directs this film, and while he does a fantastic job and the cinematography is incredible, the substance did not pay off in the way I believe it should have. In the end, this is a very interesting true story that should have had much more dialogue to explain some of the actions of the characters. Sometimes you need to say a little more. In the end, it is a fine film with what should have been a dramatically effective ending, that I was not connected to at all, due to its odd pacing and underdeveloped story. "The Danish Girl" is really just Oscar bait, but the performances I will admit are magnificent! Well cast!
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