The Danish girl directed by Tom Hooper is a bit too perfect, too glossy, a movie that ticks the box in every academy award section and that as a result, it feels cold and calculated rather than warm. The photography and design is, of course, beautiful, but I feel that I’ve seen it all before in movies I have long forgotten with luscious, painterly sets.The same goes for the storyline. It is a powerful and emotional story about Lili Elbe,who was born a male named Einar Wegener. A woman trapped in the body of a man. The film is based on the true story of a pioneering recipient of gender reassignment surgery. It is quite a pioneering story, however the filmmaking is far from pioneering, it is conventional and you feel as if producers, and director knew that they had such a great a story in their hands, a story that could potentially win every major award that they went a bit too far in making this film an Oscar pleasing film.
Eddie Redmayne as Lilli and Alicia Vikander who plays Gerda, lilli’s wife, deliver a performance that just like the filmmaking is too stiff, too awards season. Alicia Vikander with her stilted patrician English accent makes the character loose the edge she has as the strong woman she plays. A less perfect accent would make her performance stand out way beyond her Oscar. As filmmakers we should embrace actor’s accents, they can add nuances to a performance. Foreign actors speaking with perfect English do end up sometimes leaving audiences cold with their perfection. Too schooled, too formulaic. Personally I would love to have heard her speaking with a slight Danish accent, it would be more real and more relevant to the story.For example, Kate Winslet had a slight German accent in “The Reader”that made her character dynamic and real. As for Eddie Redmayne’s performance, well it is just as school drama perfect as her co-star, he overdoes Lilli a bit. The exuberance that worked perfectly in “The theory of Everything”, didn’t this time.
Filmmakers could have definitely push the boundaries a bit more and make this film a film that could have made history,a film that you could watch over and over again discovering something new each time. This is not that kind of film. It is also too long and filmmakers should stop altogether making movies over 1h30 minutes long unless they are 97% sure they have masterpiece in their hands. Unless you are able to pull off a Leviathan (2h20mins and worth every minute of it) sort of movie – a masterpiece- then don’t do it. The Danish girl is not in the Leviathan league. It is in the Hollywood conventional filmmaking league which we’ve seen far too many times to be excited about it .Next please.