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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer 2015-6

The Danish Girl (2015) movie review

Einar Doesn't Live Here Anymore

When a young Danish man reluctantly dons stockings and a dress to pose for his artist wife they accidentally unlock a great secret from his past. Lili.When a young Danish man reluctantly dons stockings and a dress to pose for his artist wife they accidentally unlock a great secret from his past. Lili.

It is said that the first thing we notice about another person is whether they are male or female. Gender is fundamental to our own identity, and the way the rest of the world sees and treats us.

But what if our body is wrong? What if we feel and think one gender, and our bodies are another? This is the basis of the idea of transgender. A war between our bodies, our souls and our minds.

movie poster, The Danish Girl, Festivale film review; 220x326

Movie poster, The Danish Girl
Find the courage to be yourself.

For the happily married artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) there had been a time when his childhood self had thought and felt like Lili. When his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) dresses him as a Lili for a party, they unleash Lili from the depths of Einar's psyche. Now they must confront the truth about Einar/Lili, and find a way to live and love with the consequences.

It is still early in the twentieth century, and Einar finds brutality and despair in his interactions with the medical establishment. Until at last he meets a surgeon willing to perform the world's first transgender operations.

movie still, The Danish Girl, Festivale film review; 534x301

Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl © 2015 Universal Pictures

Lili is an important figure in the history of transgender people. This story is told with great care, examining the effects on her marriage, herself, her wife, and her friends. The Danish Girl is a film extraordinarily good to look at, and compelling to watch.

It makes a person of an issue, it tells a tale of love and understanding and loss, and it does so with kindness and honesty. The Danish Girl is well worth your time.

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by Ali Kayn
Australian release 26 December 2016
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: The Danish Girl (2015)
Written by: David Ebershoff (novel), Lucinda Coxon (screenplay)
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Running time: 119 mins

The Players: Alicia Vikander, Eddie Redmayne

Official website:
IMDb entry

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