Man into Woman: THE DANISH GIRL

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Reincarnation, Kardashians:

by Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

First off, the Parisian fashions of the late 1920's would be enough to make any male with the least amount of femininity want to at least dress in drag. THE DANISH GIRL costumes for both Gerda (Alicia Vikander) & Lili (Eddie Redmayne) just make you wanna cry with the desire to wear and own them. Kudos to the costume designer Paco Delgado.

Of course there's a big difference between someone born male who dresses in drag or cross dress and one that identifies as a woman - transgender.  But it's all very confusing for us cisgenders (those good with the sex you were born into), so I can't imagine what it must be like for the transgender person trying to understand themselves.  Personally, I think it all has a lot to do with past lives. I definitely believe in reincarnation and I think were are different sexes in different lives. I've read books on reincarnation where some children the first few years of their lives have strange memories and knowledge of things that are inexplicable, but in time it fades. However, it could be that some people hold on to their past life, particularly their gender and that's why they identify with someone on the inside, despite their outward appearance.

Although I have to say, when Bruce Jenner first revealed he was transitioning into a woman, I just thought it was absurd!  A 60 some year-old Olympic athlete with umpteen children, 2 marriages and a masculine demeanor, now says he's felt like a woman his whole life?  I didn't really buy it. Over the years that I've been "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" Bruce had gotten weirder and weirder, but he never seemed terribly effeminate. I don't think anyone could have seen Caitlyn coming!  To me it seemed like if he wanted to indulge his feminine side he could have just done some feminine things on the side, like getting mani/pedis, volunteering at a women's shelter, go shoe shopping on the pretense he's buying them for Kris. And sure, on occasion dress in women's clothing when you have a night alone.  It's hard to imagine he so needed to actually live as a woman.  But it's a little more comprehensible when you see The Danish Girl.

The movie takes place in 1920's Copenhagen where we are introduced to a wonderfully playful, young married couple, both artists. Actually, all the art work and the painting like cinematography, both interior and exterior shots, play a major part in director Tom Hooper's (The Kings Speech, Les Miserable) movie; along with, as previously mentioned, the costumes - all of it makes for a gorgeous film.  Einar's (Redmayne) landscape paintings depicting the scenery of where he grew up, are celebrated and in demand. Gerda's (Vikander) portraits, not so much.  But they support each other and have a very healthy sex life and what seems to be a happy 6 year marriage... until...

She's certainly not cognizant, but it seems there's a part of Gerda that just senses Lili inside Einar. It's not anything he's said or done, yet when she sketches him in his sleep, the likeness is very feminine. Gerda must finish a portrait of a dancer who's late for her sitting and asks Einar to pose for her wearing the dancers shoes and holding up the dress. More little moments begin the stirrings in Einar, with the final awakening coming yet again through Gerda's notion. Because Einar is somewhat of a local artistic celebrity, he often avoids social engagements, so as a lark, Gerda suggests he go to this big party in drag/disguise, pretend to be a female cousin... and Lili is born.

This is where Redmanyne deserves his Golden Globe nomination, because each scene you see him becoming more and more Lili until it's almost like a split personality disorder where Lili becomes the dominant personality. When he's not Lili, he's also no longer Einar, but some disturbingly androgynous amalgamation.  In a subtle twist, the adorable and sensual Gerda does have a somewhat masculine side, particularly the way she holds her cigarette holder as if it were a cigar. But also in the fact that she's the strong one of the two. She must deal with the loss of her husband and find help for Lili, who also becomes her muse.
Tom Hooper: From my first reading of the script, I thought about Eddie for the role. I said to Gail Mutrux, "That's who I want to make the film with." We had already made Elizabeth I together. But it wasn't until we were making Les Miserables with Working Title in 2012 that I gave him the script. Eddie Redmayne: I was at the Les Miserables barricades, and Tom said, "I would like you to read something." Tom then got me the script and I sat down to read it, knowing nothing about it. I was profoundly moved, it blew my mind. I found it extraordinarily passionate and deeply felt. I told Tom I wanted to be part of telling this story.  Production Notes
Lucinda Coxson, Screenwriter: This, then, was the journey I felt compelled to take as a writer. A journey which asks us how far we will go for the people we love, how much truth we really want to hear, how much change we can bear before we break. Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe are perhaps still years ahead of us. They certainly have plenty to teach us...READ MORE  Landmark Theaters Filmmaker Letter 
I won't give away any more of the movie, but it's completely engrossing, Bottom line: I loved it. It's my second favorite film this year so far, with Room being at the top of my list, but I still have to see Joy.

T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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