Review of “The Danish Girl”

from Facebook, today:

Today’s movie: “The Danish Girl”, which both Yeong and I liked better than I’d expected given the lukewarm reviews. (Glancing at those negative reviews, their theme seems to be that the movie is too polished, too flat and cold, too mainstream, rather like some of the criticisms directed at “Carol”; I’m thinking those critics are jaded.) Redmayne and the character’s wife played by Alicia Vikander are both great [though Redmayne, after playing Stephen Hawking last year, might be at risk becoming merely an expert stunt actor], and we also liked Matthias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw. I thought the subject was handled frankly but not without some delicacy, with some insight about the idea of why a person would feel they are at their core a different gender, but without alluding to any easy explanations — because there are no easy explanations (despite the quick and drastic diagnoses of the several doctors Redmayne’s character visits at one point), and because whatever explanations there might be are surely different from individual to individual. A lovely and moving film. (With characteristically glittery, Philip Glassesque music by Alexandre Desplat.)

(We saw this at a three-screen theater in Berkeley, with a parking structure nearby to alleviate worries of parking tickets, but which cost $9 for the stay. It being Berkeley, the host who came in to introduce the film advised us of the theater’s composting policy, reminding us to deposit our soda and popcorn garbage in the green bins…)

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