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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Danish Girl (2015)

Eddie Redmayne has done two films about two historical figures in two years that are really quite remarkable.  They are both a bit painful as well, but he has a gentle touch with them.  In this one he portrays a transgendered woman, Lili Elbe, in the 1920's.  He is a painter of some renown who is married to another painter.  His wife, Gerda, was quite supportive of his desire to dress and act as a woman, but when he wanted to have sex reassignment surgery, she was much more hesitant, as much for Einar, the man who had been her husband as she was for the loss of him to Lile.  The part that the movie does not quite explain, but is hinted at, is that the operation at the time was aimed at making one a functional woman, including the implantation of an ovary, and finally a uterus transplant.  Which was just not going to end well.  The dissolution of the marital relationship is well portrayed and the experience of marrying a man and waking up one day with a woman who refuses to give that man back is well depicted.  And Redmayne does it all quite beautifully.

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