The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
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Eddie Redmayne is beautiful, Alicia Vikander is beautiful, the clothes, sets, paintings, streets and compositions are all beautiful... and yet only the very last minutes really had some sort of impact on an emotional level. I think the whole thing was too glammed up, almost dissolving the real struggle and complex feelings within Lili into a role-playing game that suddenly became too real.
It had all the ingredients to succeed from good actors to stunning photography and mostly an incredible real story to tell. Instead, Hooper delivers it unconvincingly. The characters felt flat, the style too academic and the narrative rather unfocused. The subject deserved way more articulacy and expressiveness channeling the internal struggle and proccess of self-discovery.
Much like in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne strikes again in an outstanding performance of a non-fictional person in a heavily romanticized biopic lacking some rough veracity. The cast devotion to those characters is praiseworthy, as the beautiful cinematography of Wegener's studio and Europe in the 1920s. Sorry Alicia Vikander, but Eddie is prettier than you.
There's something lacking in this adaptation of the Ebershoff novel but no blame lies in the actor's hands. Redmayne captures Einar/Lili perfectly but its Vikander who provides the more dynamic turn here. Hooper's direction is far too safe and pic could have been far more powerful in the hands of a director willing to push the envelope. One thing tragically missing is the development of the Henrik/Lili relationship.
An old Portuguese aphorism says "who wants everything, loses everything" but it turns out, in this brave obvious world, that "who displays all, wins all", for Eddie Redmayne could not be more expository and demonstrative in his composition-for-premium that, even so, much praise has assured him. The film is a soporific ersatz.
Not as bad as I was expecting, in fact quite good. Redmayne and Vikander are both great. Nudity is tasteful. Teeters on overbearing melodrama a bit too often, especially the dreadful (and inaccurate) ending. Still, good to see queer representation from mainstream filmmakers.