The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first transgender persons to have sex-reassignment surgery. Alicia Vikander plays Lili’s wife, Gerda Wegener. Both were artists.
The surgery took place in 1920s, but the story begins before that. We are going back to the beginning of the transgender movement and transgender acceptance in this film. We see Elbe’s slow realization of her gender identity. She poses for paintings by Gerda as a woman, and begins appearing in public as a woman.
Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar last year for The Theory of Everything, and there is talk of another nomination for his work in this film. On the reverse side of that, there are complainers who think a genuine transgender actor should have played this part.
Director Tom Hooper told Screen Daily, “Eddie was really the the person I wanted to make the film with and I was very passionate about that. I was a a great believer in him as an actor. I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him that I found intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role.”
“When I first read the script, I wept three times,” said Hooper. “It connected to me in similar ways to The King’s Speech, where a man is locked in his body by a stammer and he’s helped by a tender friendship. With Lili I was moved by the power of love as an agent of transformation, even when the world was against it.”
The film was written Lucinda Coxon. It is based on David Ebershoff’s historical novel.
The Danish Girl opens November 27.