Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Danish Girl -

Actor in a Lead Role - Eddie Redmayne
Actress in a Supporting Role, Alicia Vikander
Production Design, Eve Stewart (Production Design); Michael Standish (Set Decoration)
Costume Design, Paco Delgado

The thing about The Danish Girl is that it's such a beautifully simple story.  Eddie Redmayne plays artist Einar Wegener who discovers his true self and gender identity while posing for paintings done by his artist wife, Gerda.  As his journey unfolds to becoming a her, Wegener renames herself Lili Elbe and pursues a dangerous gender reassignment surgical procedure, long before the surgery had been perfected.

My first reaction after seeing The Danish Girl was, "looks like Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks are welcoming a new member to the club of people who won lead actor two years in a row."  He totally transformed himself and even without the makeup and the costumes, his movements and his demeanor changed so dramatically that you still believe him to be a transgender woman, that is to say, a woman.

Alicia Vikander also blew me away.  Struggling herself with her love for her husband combined with wanting to be supportive and wanting to protect him from harm, she finds her voice in the journey, as well, both as a woman and as an artist.

The costumes and the production design are clear nominees, in my mind.  They are all so beautiful and of course, period pieces always do well in these categories.  But when you add the grandeur of Paris in the 1920's and the incredible detail put into the costumes, you've got shoe-ins for these nominations.  You absolutely have to see them for yourself, if just for these elements, but you'll be dazzled by Redmayne and Vikander's performances along the way.

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