By Lance Avery Morgan
(Photos courtesy of Focus Features)
Folks, the Oscar race just became more interesting. How? “The Danish Girl” is a leading contender for categories like Best Actor, Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and so many more. It’s a plethora of talent that makes the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, portrayed in the film by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables).
It all begins in 1926 in Copenhagen, where artist Einar Wegener is married to Gerda Wegener and is revered for landscape paintings. Gerda is also an artist, less renowned but steadily working as a portraitist of prominent citizens. Theirs is a strong and loving marriage, yet personal and professional epiphanies have eluded them both.
That all begins to change one day when, on deadline for a portrait, Gerda asks her husband to fill in for a model by putting on a dress so that she can finish the painting. The experience is transformative, as Einar soon realizes that being Lili is an expression of her truest self, and she begins living her life as a woman. Gerda unexpectedly finds that she has a new muse, and renewed creative ferment. But the couple soon brush up against society’s disapproval.
They leave their homeland for the more open-minded world of Paris. There, it is Gerda’s career that continues to flourish. The couple’s marriage evolves – and not without strain. But again and again Gerda supports Lili during her journey as a transgender woman. Through the other, each of them finds the courage to be who they are at heart. Run, don’t walk to your nearest theatre to see where the award season will focus on… this film.
It is a Focus Features presentation of a Working Title/Pretty Pictures production in association with ReVision Pictures and Senator Global Productions. Based on the book by David Ebershoff. Screenplay by Lucinda Coxon. Produced by Gail Mutrux, Anne Harrison, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tom Hooper. Directed by Tom Hooper. It is a Focus Features release and more info can be found at http://www.focusfeatures.com