The Danish Girl: A Love Story

Expecting to see a biopic of Lili Elbe, one of the world’s first people to undergo gender transition via medical procedures, I was surprised to witness instead a remarkable and heartbreaking love story. The “inspired by” tagline translates into a “very, very loosely based” biopic, but that’s so okay. Especially if you’re a romantic.

the danish girl

 

Lili Elbe, exquisitely portrayed by the adroit Eddie Redmayne, is not the star of this film, in this viewers opinion; no, Gerda Wegener, brought to life by Alicia Vikander, is the star of The Danish Girl.

I found myself frustrated, but only very briefly, that more attention wasn’t being paid to Lili as her at-birth-self, Einar, until I stopped resisting my preconceived notions and allowed myself to be allured into the love story unfolding before me. It would be naive to think that my status as wife wouldn’t influence my opinion of the story, and so I freely admit that I identified most strongly with Gerda’s plight. Her roller-coaster of emotions was painful and profound as she struggled to support, understand, and embrace the one she loved so deeply.

creating lili

Gerda lovingly prepares Lili for the party.

better than i ever manage

“How do I look?” “Better than I ever manage.”

The Danish Girl is not a biopic. It is a coming of age story beautifully wrapped in a love story, garnished by deep and lasting kinship.

Further reading: The Tragic True Story Behind The Danish Girl.

6 thoughts on “The Danish Girl: A Love Story

  1. The Danish Girl (and The Martian) are the only two well-reviewed movies I missed this year, so — based on your terrific review — I will definitely rent it on DVD. I have seen Matt Damon rescued a lot — and from much more difficult places than Mars — so The Martian still isn’t on my list. Great post, Micki, thanks!

    Like

    • I count your comment as high praise, indeed, as I’m such a fan of your writing. Thank you so much.
      If I may, I’ve seen The Martian and I was surprised by how many times I laughed, yes out loud, at the theater. That said, what the heck were they thinking calling it a comedy? It was entertaining, but I’d wait until I could watch it on Prime or some such venue for free.

      Liked by 1 person

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