FIND THE COURAGE TO BE YOURSELF.
In 1926, the celebrated Danish artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) begins to dress up as a woman, encouraged by his wife (Alicia Vikander) as part of a social experiment… but the experience awakens emotions that he’s been suppressing for a long time. The story of the artist who subjected himself to one of the first sex-reassignment operations in the world is based on actual events, but David Ebershoff’s novel and this film change so many facts that it ultimately has to be considered as fiction. Still, what the film presents is a moving love story, exceptionally well acted and magnificently staged by Tom Hooper and his team, that makes us understand Wegener’s tremendous courage.
2015-Britain-U.S.-Belgium. 119 min. Color. Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Tom Hooper, Gail Mutrux. Directed by Tom Hooper. Screenplay: Lucinda Coxon. Novel: David Ebershoff. Cinematography: Danny Cohen. Music: Alexandre Desplat. Costume Design: Paco Delgado. Cast: Eddie Redmayne (Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe), Alicia Vikander (Gerda Wegener), Matthias Schoenaerts (Hans Axgil), Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, Sebastian Koch.
Trivia: At an earlier stage, Nicole Kidman was set to play Einar, with Charlize Theron or Gwyneth Paltrow playing Gerda.
Oscar: Best Supporting Actress (Vikander).
Last word: “It was sort of a thing of wanting to pay respect to what David created, but also see if we could bring back a little more of the reality of the story through the research we’d done. I think it’s a statement about trans history that there was very little information about Lili Elbe to be found. When I started working, we had to commission our own researchers to go out and do firsthand research, and quite often the information was contradictory, so there are some aspects of her story that remain shrouded in mystery. It’s a balance between wanting to be true to what made David’s novel great and trying to honor the true story.” (Hooper, Pop Sugar)