Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Oscar Project 2016: The Danish Girl

Movie: The Danish Girl

This story of Danish artist and transgender pioneer Lili Elbe was heartbreaking and heartwarming, emotionally complex and very well made. I don't know a lot about the real lives of Lili and Gerda, other than what I gleaned from Wikipedia after watching, so I'm speaking of the movie on its own merits and not as a historical document - which is not something I think it intends to be, anyway. I think it did a good job of making the story feel universal and relatable while still showing how new and shocking and groundbreaking Lili's transition was in her time.

Availability: Still in a few theaters.

Nominated in:

Actor in a Leading Role: I know there's been a lot of discussion about whether cisgender actors should keep getting cast as and awarded for playing transgender characters, and there are a lot of good and complicated questions there. Putting that aside for a moment, though, I thought Eddie Redmayne did quite a good job, and I'm not sure he's my first choice but I wouldn't be sad if he won.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Yes, Alicia Vikander was great here - her Gerda was fascinating and compelling without pulling too much attention away from Einar/Lili, and she successfully gave the character an incredible range of emotions.

Costume Design: Absolutely. The costumes were gorgeous and elaborate and, since the artist characters paid a lot of attention to the visual they were presenting to the world, the costumes did a significant amount of work toward establishing the characters and their frames of mind at any given time. They also grounded the movie in the place and time and culture.

Production Design: Sure. I'm always inclined to give this to rich, detailed historical settings, and they did a very good job with this one.

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