I am ashamed to say that I still haven’t seen the Theory of Everything, yet, having now seen Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl. Based on a true story, this tender film breezes through the tormented life of Scandinavian couple Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda (Alicia Vikander), and Lili’s transformation from a transgender to a transsexual. Yet during the 1920s it was a dangerous time to be transgender, let alone homosexual – the concepts (transgender; transsexual) hardly existed in those days.
The film follows landscape artist Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) stroking fur jackets, concealing silk dresses underneath men’s clothing and, eventually, strutting like a woman. Hiding behind tutus, and looking at his naked reflection in the mirror, imagining what life would be like without a penis, Hooper and screen play writer Lucinda Coxon reveal a pretty woman that had been locked up and buried deep inside a man’s body. Yet all of this begins with Wegener’s wife, asking him to sit as a ballet dancer for her painting.