The Danish Girl | Chicago Reader

The Danish Girl

Rated R 120 minutes 2015

Director Tom Hooper, a tedious exemplar of the British tradition of quality (The King's Speech), hops on the recent bandwagon for transgender stories with this Oscar-bait adaptation of David Ebershoff's 2000 novel about Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. Eddie Redmayne stars as Einar Wegener, a Danish artist in the 1920s who develops a passion for cross-dressing and eventually identifies as Elbe; Alicia Vikander is his loyal wife, who stands by him even after he decides to risk everything on the unproven surgical procedure. Hooper's staid treatment hardly complements the subject matter, and the stuffy tone is only exacerbated by Redmayne's drippy performance. (Decked out in a red wig and gown, he's a ringer for Jessica Chastain.) With Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Sebastian Koch.

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The Danish Girl

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