Political correctness says I’m supposed to love this movie. I didn’t and don’t. Political correctness — I suppose — says I should also gush over the performances of the two actors and their supporting cast.
I won’t do that either, and my reasons have nothing to do with the subject matter.
With the buzz and press over the whole Caitlyn Jenner thing, the subject is one that grabs headlines. And we find ourselves caught up in defining and redefining sexuality, and the difficulties our society faces surrounding that redefinition. But when it comes to furthering that discussion in an intelligent way, The Danish Girl’s tedious telling of the tale, doesn’t.
Set in the 1920s, the film casts Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander as Danish artists Einar and Gerda Wegener. She, at first with enthusiasm and later with reluctance, helps him with his transformation from male to female.
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When a movie like this is released, Hollywood starts gushing. That is the only explanation I can offer as to why Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) is grabbing awards attention. It’s puzzling his nod-and-a-wink acting is flat and uninspired, and I just can’t see the buzz.
That brings us to director Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) storytelling and Lucinda Coxon’s (The Heart of Me) lifeless, two-dimensional script. To be a transgendered individual — even in liberal Europe at the time — had to be difficult. But Hooper and Coxon never connect us personally to either character or connect us to their pain.
That — not the topic — is my complaint.
The Danish Girl
Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts
Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars
Rated R for mature themes and nudity. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.