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The Danish Girl

Based on a true story, Eddie Redmayne plays Eilan Wegener/Lili, an artist at the turn of the century who is the first person to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Alicia Vikander plays Gerda, his wife and lifelong companion. The move is impressive for a couple of reasons. First, the story unfolds naturally and in a way that could be accessible to a broader audience. The movie is written and filmed in a way that allows Eilan’s womanhood to emerge and evolve naturally and very sensitively and compassionately. The performance by Remayne is brave and nuanced, but I think that the star of this film is Vikander who loves Eilan but is forced to come to terms with his evolution as a woman and ultimately the sexual reassignment. I think that both may get award nominations for their performances, but in my mind it is Vikander’s performance that is breathtaking. I give a big thumbs’ up to a film that is a bit ‘sterile’ at times trying to be accessible to a broader audience (the film does not take a lot of risks) but is beautiful to watch and soars on the skill of its two leads and the skillful treatment of the its subject. (2015; 4 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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