Movie Review: “The Danish Girl”, Starring Eddie Redmayne

There are plenty of films featured at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that star Harry Potter alumni. One of these is The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne, who will be playing Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the film, Redmayne plays Lili Elbe, “the 1920s Danish artist who was one of the first recipients of sexual reassignment surgery.”

The trailer for the film is included below:

Entertainment Weekly has reported on the early praise the film has received from TIFF, and our review comes courtesy of Laura Nicolucci:

A standing ovation left director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) in tears after the second screening of his latest film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Inspired by true events, The Danish Girl is a love story. As Hooper put it, it is “an expression of unconditional love in its most beautiful form.” Academy Award[-]Winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) portrays Einar Wegener, a happily married landscape artist who becomes one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) plays [Einar’s] loving wife Gerda, who stands by her side through[out] her transition from Einar to Lili.

During a short [Q&A] after the screening, Hooper revealed that he wanted to move the audience the way the script moved him, and he did just that. Beautifully shot by Danny Cohen (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) and scored by Academy Award[-]winner Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Harry Potter [and t]he Deathly Hallows [-] P[ar]t[s] 1 & 2), it took fifteen years for Hooper to bring this film to life. It is a extraordinary portrayal of Einar’s struggle to find her true self and how Gerda stands by her when she ultimately finds herself in Lili.

Both performances from Redmayne and Vikander are outstanding, and while it’s still early for award buzz, I would not be surprised if [at least one] of them receive[s] recognition. Their emotions are so real and vivid, which begins from Einar’s struggle of whether or not to embrace Lili to Gerda’s strength throughout the film. Gerda is a strong female character, caring less about what is happening to herself and worrying more about what her husband (now Lili) is about to undergo. Redmayne truly becomes the characters he portrays, and it is remarkably seen in all angles of Einar and Lili.

Stories from the [transgender] community are coming to light in the media more today than ever before, which is why The Danish Girl’s premiere is perfectly timed. I highly recommend seeing this film when it hits theaters in November, and I have a feeling that a little gold statue named Oscar will have The Danish Girl engraved on it very soon.

The Danish Girl was seen as part of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2015. Its US release date is November 27.

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