Film review: The Danish Girl (4 out of 5)

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

If I was a betting man I’d put a few pounds on Eddie Redmayne getting another major award in the near future. I’d also put a bob or two on Alicia Vikander.

However, I doubt the odds would be favourable.

Such are the remarkable performances in this film, Redmayne in particular must surely in his own mind have worked out where the next trophy will sit.

The Danish Girl is an adaptation of David Ebershoff’s book of the same name - the real-life story of a Danish painter who came to realise he was a woman living in a man’s body.

Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) and Lucinda Coxon, who provided the screenplay, have tinkered with the real story but maintained the core facts.

Redmayne’s character, Einar Wegener, begins his emotional journey by chance, when one of his wife’s life models fails to turn up and his alter ego, Lili, emerges.

Vikander, playing his wife Gerda, also joins in the emotional trip, forced to question her role and feelings.

It’s a very tender story that is skilfully overseen by Hooper who has a remarkable eye for a dazzling setting as well as allowing actors to give their all.

Of course, back in 1926 any sexual activity out of the norm was frowned on and strongly discouraged and the movie perhaps overdoes pointing this out.

But it’s the acting that really counts and along with Redmayne and Vikander, we have one of my favourite actors Matthias Schoenaerts and the excellent Ben Whishaw.

To add the icing on the cake, there’s also some beautiful music by Alexandre Desplat.

Overall this is a well-crafted film about very complex human emotions and a person’s journey to find their real self.

Film details: The Danish Girl (15) 119mins

Director: Tom Hooper

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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