The Danish Girl (2015) Movie Review

The Danish Girl, from director Tom Hooper, revolves around painter Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) in 1920s Copenhagen. Einar undergoes a struggle with gender identity that threatens to compromise his career and his marriage with his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander).

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Calculated shot choices and Desplat’s lightly vibrant score accompany a pair of tour de force performances from Redmayne and Vikander.

Redmayne inhabits a conflicted duo of personas in his character, giving both of them equal life and genuineness. It is this deft duality, mastered by Redmayne, that fuels the pathos and soul of The Danish Girl.

Redmayne utilizes simple hand gestures and facial quirks to extraordinary effect. The ease with which Redmayne embodies crippling shyness in a single squint-eyed smile is applause-worthy on its own.

Largely, the shot choices are elegant and entrancing. A scene involving mirrored hand movements between two characters exemplifies the conciseness of these calculated shots perfectly. This scene alone is wholly engrossing. Other, more conventional shot structure does its job just as well.

Conversely, the directorial choices to pause over certain purely cinematic moments, usually for the sake of highlighting characters’ emotions, is detracting and unnecessary. Given the superior acting, there is little need to hover over these moments.

The Post-Script

The Danish Girl is a beautiful bookend to a jam-packed breakout year for Alicia Vikander. Her future is certainly looking bright (she just came away with two Golden Globe nominations), and I am excited to see what 2016 holds for her.

As always, thanks for reading!

Have you seen The Danish Girl? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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