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09/12/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) News, The Danish Girl

DanishGirl

Jury, headed by TheWrap film critic Alonso Duralde, also gave a special mention to Kuba Czekaj’s “Baby Bump”
“The Danish Girl,” starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as early-20th-century transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, has just picked up one of its first awards as Oscar buzz for the movie builds at both Toronto and Venice film festivals.
Director Tom Hooper accepted the Queer Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival on Friday for the movie’s “straightforward and honest portrayal of gender issues within a marriage, presented in a handsome production that will bring its important message to a wide audience,” organizers said.
The Queer Lion is awarded annually to the “best movie with LGBT themes and queer culture” among those presented at the Venice International Film Festival.
The 2015 Queer Lion jury, headed by TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde, also gave a special mention to Kuba Czekaj’s “Baby Bump,” a Polish film about a young teenager struggling to accept and understand the changes in his body.

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09/06/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) News, The Danish Girl

DanishGirl

The trans community gets a lush and slightly stiff prestige movie to call its own, buoyed by Redmayne and Alicia Vikander‘s powerful performances
Following the hidebound, Oscar-friendly stodginess of “The King’s Speech” and “Les Misérables,” director Tom Hooper shakes things up a bit with “The Danish Girl,” proving that he’s capable of making a movie that’s both steeped in awards-season prestige and in possession of a pulse.
Arriving at an interesting moment in pop culture’s representations of the transgender movement, “The Danish Girl” offers a lush and somewhat stodgy aesthetic that will nonetheless reach an audience who could benefit from it; grandparental types who would never watch “Transparent,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “I Am Jazz” or even “I Am Cait” might find themselves settling in for a Sunday matinee and coming out having learned something about gender identity.

Not that “The Danish Girl” wears its messaging like a shroud; at its heart, it’s a portrait of a marriage, one in which the husband comes to understand that he’s really been a woman all along, and in which the wife’s responses are more complicated that an outside observer might imagine. In 1926 Copenhagen, Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) is a portraitist living in the shadow of her much more successful husband, landscape artist Einar (Eddie Redmayne). The two adore each other and are trying to have a baby, and they own one of the most adorable dogs in the history of cinema. When their prima ballerina pal Oola (Amber Heard) blows off a portrait sitting, Gerda asks Einar to slip on some stockings and high-heel shoes so she can do some work on the painting in the subject’s absence. Holding Oola’s dress on top of himself and wearing the hosiery, something begins to click inside of Einar; when Oola shows up late with a bouquet of flowers, she laughingly dubs Einar’s female identity “Lili.”

Einar starts wearing Gerda’s underthings beneath his suits, and his cross-dressing becomes a naughty turn-on for the couple. It isn’t until Einar attends a ball in full Lili drag — and attracts the amorous attentions of Henrik (Ben Whishaw) — that he begins to acknowledge that Lili isn’t a mere construct, but rather a part of his own personality. A part, in fact, that slowly comes to represent the whole.

Gerda is taken aback by Lili’s emergence, but in the screenplay by Lucinda Coxon (adapting David Ebershoff’s fact-inspired novel), her response is layered. For one thing, Gerda mentions that the first time she kissed Einar, “It was like kissing myself,” acknowledging that part of her attraction to her husband was an attraction to Lili. On top of that, Gerda’s paintings of Lili make her the toast of the Danish, and later French, art world. Hooper’s stately storytelling style matches the material, since there are so many stages and intermediate steps involved in Einar fully becoming Lili, who goes so far as to undergo one of the very first gender-reassignment surgeries. And while the movie could have gotten more out of its supporting characters — there’s no doubt much more to know about Oola, Henrik and Einar’s boyhood friend Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), who grew up to be a Paris art dealer — the delicate dance by which Einar becomes Lili and Gerda comes to love and accept this new person while mourning the loss of her husband remains fascinating all the same. After all those wretched tight close-ups in “Les Misérables,” it’s a relief that Hooper and his usual cinematographer, Danny Cohen, allow these characters, searching for a way through their own lives, to get lost in vast spaces like hospital corridors and city blocks of Danish row houses. (We also get some nicely painterly moments, like a ballet studio where tutus hang in the rafters like indoor clouds.) Cohen and Hooper also make it a point to shoot Redmayne like Josef von Sternberg filming Marlene Dietrich, finding the androgynous actor’s best angles and lighting him like a screen queen of yore.

Redmayne fully inhabits the character, and it’s interesting to watch an actor going through his processes as part of the work; Einar himself must learn to navigate the world as a woman, and when we see him duplicating a lady’s subtle hand gestures, or learning how to walk in her shoes, it provides a glimpse into what must have been Redmayne’s own preparation for the role. For her part, Vikander adds smoke and shading to a character who could have easily veered into being just one thing, or at least just one thing at a time; she juggles pride and anguish, affection and disappointment, and longing and empathy with great skill. For all its period setting and opulence, “The Danish Girl” is less removed from our own era than you might think; the physical violence and medical ignorance that Lili faces over the course of her evolution remain in place today. And while this film should by no means be the last word on an under-explored subject in mainstream cinema, it makes an interesting guidepost toward bolder stories in the future.

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09/01/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) The Danish Girl

The first trailer for The Danish Girl premiered on Tuesday, starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender woman Lili Elbe. Watch below.
The trailer shows the evolution of Elbe’s relationship with Gerda as she goes from male to female. “I believe that I am a woman,” she says at one point. At another point she announces, “This is not my body. I have to let it go.” The project, which was first teased with a photo of Redmayne as Elbe earlier this year, is the actor’s first since his Oscar-winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Tom Hooper, who won the Best Director Oscar for The King’s Speech, directed the film based off a 2001 novel that presented a fictional account of Elbe’s life. The movie, which also stars Amber Heard, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival before opening in theaters on November 27. Check out the trailer below, and tell us if you think Redmayne could be looking at back-to-back Academy Awards wins for Best Actor.



08/12/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) The Danish Girl

In the upcoming film The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne stars as transgender woman Lili Elbe, an artist who had sexual reassignment surgery in the 1930s. For Out Magazine’s September cover story, he opened up about the preparation that went into playing a transgender icon — and how his research impacted his own views.
“My greatest ignorance when I started was that gender and sexuality were related,” he told Out. “And that’s one of the key things I want to hammer home to the world: You can be gay or straight, trans man or woman, and those two things are not necessarily aligned.”

To prepare for his role as the trans pioneer, Redmayne thoroughly researched transgender theory and history, reaching out to prominent trans activists like Paris Lees and April Ashley for guidance. He also asked Jupiter Ascending director Lana Wachowski, a transgender woman, for advice.

“Virtually all of the trans men and women I met would say, ‘Ask me anything,’” Redmayne said. “They know that need for cisgender people to be educated. I felt like, I’m being given this extraordinary experience of being able to play this woman, but with that comes this responsibility of not only educating myself but hopefully using that to educate [an audience]. Gosh, it’s delicate. And complicated.”

The Oscar winner also told Out that he’s “nervous” about how the film will be received by the trans community, especially as figures like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox have helped bring trans issues into public awareness.

“I absolutely salute her courage,” Redmayne said about Jenner. “Hers is a very specific story, and it’s one that shouldn’t stand for everybody’s. But it is amazing what’s she gone through and how she’s done it.”

The Danish Girl will be released Nov. 27.

For more on Redmayne, head to Out.

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08/03/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) Gallery Update, The Danish Girl

The first posters have arrived online for The Danish Girl, which sees Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne starring as artist Einar Wegener, who made the pioneering journey to becoming a woman, Lili Elbe, in the 1920s. Starring alongsdie Redmayne is Alicia Vikander as Wegener’s wife Gerda Gottlieb



07/30/2015 admin 0 Comment(s) The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne’s “The Danish Girl” will premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The film sees Redmayne in the role of transgender woman Lili Elbe, one of the first recipients of sex reassignment surgery. The festival runs from Sept. 2 -12.

Redmayne, who won an Oscar last year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” said earlier this year that playing “transformative” characters is “not a concerted choice.”

“If your dream is to tell stories, interesting stories, play interesting people. That’s the bottom line,” he told GQ UK. “I have been incredibly lucky to portray Stephen Hawking and Lili. They are both extraordinary people and as an actor it doesn’t get better than that.”

“There is so much I need to investigate,” added Redmayne. “It’s a very famous story within the trans community.”

Redmayne and fellow Englishman Benedict Cumberbatch’s enormous Hollywood success has drawn the ire of many in the British acting community, who argue that the superstar duo, because of their privileged upbringings, were afforded far more opportunities to make it big than were their working class actor counterparts.

English actor James Fox, in an interview published Tuesday, called the criticism of Redmayne and Cumberbatch “classist.”

“I was one of the only actors of my background who made it in my 20s,” Fox told the Telegraph. “All the rest were working class: Terry Stamp, Albie Finney, Tom Courtenay, Michael Caine. No-one turned around and said, ‘Oi, all those working class people have got an advantage over you posh twits.'”

British actor Rupert Everett has also dismissed the criticism. “The upper class people are making the films that the Americans like but that’s how it is. There’s nothing we can do about that,” he told the Radio Times in May. “We can’t force the Americans to change their minds but we could also just not be so envious and bitter about it and celebrate at the same time all the other people who do amazing work and are huge stars in our own country and then get to break out as well.”

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