Saturday, December 12, 2015
THE DANISH GIRL
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.
READ MORE Landmark Theaters Filmmaker LetterI 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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