The Danish Girl

“The Danish Girl” is a love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, portrayed in the film respectively by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. In 1926 in Copenhagen, artist Einar Wegener is married to Gerda Wegener. Theirs is a strong and loving marriage, yet that all begins to change one day when, on deadline for a portrait, Gerda, a portrait artist asks her husband to fill in for a model by putting on a dress so that she can finish the painting. The experience is transformative, as Einar soon realizes that being Lili is an expression of her truest self, and she begins living her life as a woman

The film is directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables).

The acting is superb. I expect Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander to both be nominated for their performances although Vikander may also garner a nomination for “Ex Machina” this year. The leads are supported by Amber Heard as Ulla and Matthias Schoenaerts as Hans.

The screenplay for “The Danish Girl” was written by Lucinda Coxon based on the novel, “The Danish Girl” by Davis Ebershoff. The screenplay will probably be nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.

I found this film to be irritating. I didn’t like the Lili/Einar character. I found her to be so selfish that I failed to like her. The writer and director want you to be empathic or sympathic with Einar/Lili’s plight. I think it is important to like the protagonist and in this movie and I just couldn’t do it.

There is a scene of full frontal male nudity which will shock some people. I think this scene was placed in the movie for shock value; I really don’t think it was all that necessary and the same message could be conveyed differently without full frontal nudity.

The costumes and art design are extraordinary. This was a beautiful movie to watch.

“The Danish Girl” opens Friday at Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac.

I have been asked by several people to grade the movies with stars or something of the sort so they know how I really feel about the film sometimes they aren’t sure. I am going to use my head instead of a star. 5 Marys mean it is a wonderful don’t miss movie and one Mary is a stinker; stay away at all costs.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at mlcwriter@charter.net. Visit Mary’s website at www.mlcwriter.com.