“The Danish Girl,” Tom Hooper’s new film, is a story of individual struggle that is also a portrait of a marriage. In this respect and others it resembles “The King’s Speech,” Mr. Hooper’s earlier historical drama, a multiple Oscar winner a few years ago. In that case, the union of George VI and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was the foundation on which the tale of George’s elocutionary striving was built. Here, the marriage is bohemian rather than aristocratic, but the stakes, while personal, are every bit as profound and consequential as the matters of state that drove the monarch to the microphone.
When we first encounter Gerda and Einar Wegener, played by Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne, they seem perfectly matched. Both are painters, living amid the soft colors and sea air of Copenhagen in 1926. Gerda is a portraitist, while Einar’s landscapes — drawn from his childhood memories of the fjords and marshlands of Vejle, a town on the Jutland peninsula — have brought him a measure of fame. Like many couples who share a profession, they provide each other with support as well as a bit of competition. Their best friend, Ulla (Amber Heard), a dancer, marvels at their mutual devotion, which combines the easy, egalitarian warmth of friendship with the heat of sexual attraction. Read more via NYTimes