Please note: this review is a repost from a post earlier this year on The Breathing Ghosts Series Blog– the official blog for my series of novels- and is in honour of Transgender Awareness Week 2016 (14-20 November 2016.)
Watching The Danish Girl (TDG) was a really intense experience for me- Eddie Redmayne has an unnerving ability to really become the characters he is playing- at times, I forgot about him and only cared for Lili. So many memorable scenes, so many heartbreaking moments- from the scene where Greta (Einar/Lili’s wife) catches him deliberately wearing one of her nightgowns in bed, to where Einar/Lili goes to a brothel and mimics the gestures of a prostitute from behind a window. (This was also incredibly moving in the novel, by David Ebershoff, which I reviewed here as my book of the year.) This scene is particular I found moving, not only for the height of emotion in the scene, but also because of the unique relationship dynamics at play between Einar/Lili and Greta.
This film is as gripping as it is harrowing. I saw it on the day it came out, and even though the cinema was packed, it was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was hooked- mesmerised by the sheer wealth of acting talent on screen, and of course by Lili’s own unique story.
It’s a wonderfully bittersweet, intense, evocative film- although to be honest I’m not sure I’d add it to my DVD collection because it is harrowing and dark at points- and also a little slow-paced- but, as with all great art, there is often beauty in darkness. It would be a travesty if it didn’t win an Oscar. (#SecondOscarforEddie!) In short, take a box of Kleenex, some chocolate, and just go and watch it.
Overall rating: 8 out of 10. *Sniff sniff sob*