Yes, the movie screams Eddie Redmayne.
From the moment I started the movie until the last second, I was so disturbingly captivated by Redmayne's in-depth portrayal of transgender Lili Elba (formerly known Einar Wegener) to the point I might have completely forgotten the man who played Stephen Hawkings or Marius Pontmercy. I don't know if it's the way his eyes craved the dresses or if it's his hands imitating the courteous movements of a ballerina, Redmayne really vanished into his character; by the time it was midway throughout the movie, there was not a hint of Redmayne acting; it was only Lili Elba.
Okay, okay - we can't give ALL the credits to Redmayne, now can we? (Although, perhaps he may pull a Tom Hanks and win two Oscars for Best Actor in a row, if the Oscars don't feel TOO bad for Leo, that is)
If you've watched her performance as the robot Ava in Ex Machina earlier this year, you'd know that the upcoming English actress Alicia Vikander is set to impress. Her performance in The Danish Girl as Lili's wife, Gerda, was unlike her mechanical portrayal of Ava in that she overflowed with raw emotions in The Danish Girl inviting you into Gerda's pain and confusion; also inviting herself into winning Best Supporting Actress in the Oscars this year! (YES. DON'T GIVE IT TO ROSE DAWSON!) -- and on that note, why isn't Alicia nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Ex Machina?!
Both performances by Redmayne and Vikander were so alluring, it almost makes you question, "So, who actually is the Danish Girl? Will the real Danish Girl, please stand up?"
Director Tom Hooper may have beautifully shot the biopic accompanied by Alexandre Desplat's mesmerising soundtrack but it was the performances by Redmayne and Vikander that really brought the show to life.
HOWEVER...While the Danish Girl really highlighted the issue of transgenderism, with Redmayne's portrayal of the almost seemingly bipolar fight between Lili and Einar, the film still left me slightly unmoved emotionally by the issue. Granted, it was a stellar performance, it was unlike anything Leonardo Dicaprio could have done (and maybe it's because I was too busy focusing on Redmayne's acting) but the film tugged the issue of transgenderism more on a head level instead of the heart. If anything, I was more engaged by Gerda's struggle to remain a loving wife in the midst of this confusion-- but perhaps that was REALLY the underlining theme of The Danish Girl that Hooper wanted to bring out - love, at all cost.
I guess we know who the Danish Girl is, eh?
Trailer available at: