Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander
I can't help but wonder how much better The Danish Girl could have been if it was actually about Lili Elbe. In its present form, The Danish Girl is the sort of standard issue prestige picture Hollywood typically resorts to when it finds itself trying to grapple with the plight of the "other": handsomely mounted, polite and playing it safe narratively, and using a character that better reflects the sensibility of the people making the movie to act as the lens through which the minority character's story is told. This is Lili Elbe's story by way of Gerda Wegener. It's so much Gerda Wegener's story that she is the "Danish girl" of the title, referred to as such by another character. She's the character we meet first. She's the character we see last. The distinction between "lead" and "supporting" performances for the Oscars has always been a bit sketchy, but Alicia Vikander winning as supporting actress for this film renders the distinction entirely meaningless.