One of the movies this Award season I waited for the most! Oscar winner Eddie Redamyne as Lili Elbe, the first Trans*Woman that went through a sex reassignment surgery. A true story. The trailer went viral immediately, everybody expected again an outstanding performance by Eddie Redmayne, but well… it’s not.
But let’s start in the beginning:
„The Danish Girl“ is a Biopic about the danish painter Einar Wegener, who’s actually Lili Elbe, a woman. She’s the first trans*sexual who had an sex reassignment surgery in 1930’s. Always on her side her loving wife Gerda Wegener, an U.S.american painter. With Lili’s awakening her life also changes and she needs to rethink about her expectations in love and life, although her portrays of Lili found a big sujet of her work.
This big trouble is photographed in the most beautiful colors you could imagine, it’s like a painting and sometimes it’s just too much. The scenery’s also breathtaking, the movie takes place in Copenhagen, London, Paris and Dresden.
In the end it’s just a kitschy and Hollywood version of one of the most interesting and tragic queer stories of all times.
Actually Lili Elbe was intersexual, she was born with male and female genitals and the Gerda was bisexual. They also moved to Paris so Gerda could meet women.
I am not a trans*person, so I’m pretty sure, I don’t know all the stages you’re going through to become yourself, sometimes the personality may be kind of splitted and you can jump between those two poles, but the way Eddie Redmayne performs as Lili is so embarrassing. Flattering eyes under her bangs, a shy look – a big elf. It’s way over the top. Yes, she needs to find her way, but the woman Redmayne performs is a cliché of a cliché of a fresh Drag Queen. Redmayne himself said in an interview that he felt so vulnerable as a woman and I can imagine that, because actually he performed an eight year old girl. Another author of a review about „The Danish Girl“ said, that he simply doesn’t understand if Redmayne sees women like this or if he shows a caricature of the way women had to behave in the 1910-1930’s? I don’t know. Maybe the contrast of the other woman Gerda, performed by the great Alicia Vikander from „Ex_Machina,“ is to hard? She’s so cool and self-conscious and full of creative energy, that Lili soaks out of her. Gerda is a modern woman, a feministic antithesis.
And yes, tempers running high again, because a lot are not amused that yet again a Cis-man performed in a Trans*part in a Hollywood-movie. Thinking about that topic I need to confess, that there are two hearts in my chest. Yes, we need more Trans* and Inter*actors/actresses in the mainstream, but to cast them only for these roles is the wrong way. We need them as leading roles in romantic comedies! I want them to get all the Jennifer Lawrence-Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum-Tom Hanks-parts! That’s the big deal, that’s what we need to change!
„The Danish Girl“ is again a tiny effort to open up for queer history and stories, but it didn’t work for me. The character Lili Elbe is way to flat, I’m sure, there would have been more to show.
But the pictures are fantastic, I guess, there will be a an Oscar nomination for that! And for Alicia Vikander and the scenery. But I am not happy about the big result, the end is too much.