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Tom Hooper
Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard
Writing Credits:
Lucinda Coxon

A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish 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.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$187,318 on 4 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 120 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 3/1/2016

• “The Making of The Danish Girl” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Danish Girl [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2016)

Many actors stumble after they take home the Academy Award, but Eddie Redmayne managed to avoid this trap. After his Oscar-winning turn as Stephen Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, Redmayne captured another Oscar nomination for 2015’s The Danish Girl.

Set in Denmark circa 1926, we meet painters Einar Wegenar (Redmayne) and his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander). When a female model cancels a session, Gerda asks Einar to fill in for her.

This reveals a sense of alternate gender identification in Einar. Initially encouraged by Gerda, he soon begins to come out as his female self, named “Lili Elbe”. We follow his transformation from Einar to Lili and the repercussions that come along the way.

I felt wholly impressed by Redmayne’s portrayal as Stephen Hawking in Theory, as he went beyond mere physical impersonation to truly embody the man. I find myself less taken with his work in Danish Girl, though I suspect my feelings stem more from the lackluster script than from the acting.

Actually, Danish Girl often feels unsure of its own focus. On the surface, it wants to give us a tale of a transgender pioneer, but it often feels more like it prefers to concentrate on Gerda’s struggles as a woman in a field dominated by men.

Perhaps this occurs because Gerda presents a much more interesting character than Einar/Lili. It makes sense that Einar starts as quiet and introverted, as those traits suit someone who hides his true nature.

However, even when he makes the change, Lili still seems quiet and introverted. Obviously, I don’t expect a person’s personality to completely change, but we don’t get a great sense that Einar feels liberated as Lili. He perks up some and seems a bit happier, but he never really conveys a sense of emergence.

Gerda offers the more compelling, fully-realized character, which means I prefer the moments in which she comes to the fore. She enjoys a more consistent arc and goes through more dynamic emotional shifts, all of which make Gerda the more involving personality.

Since the movie intends to be about Einar/Lili, though, this leads to an inconsistent narrative that can’t quite decide on whom to concentrate. Not that a two-hour movie can’t develop both roles, but Danish Girl lacks the coherence to do so. It goes from Gerda to Einar/Lili without much logic, and the parts don’t fit together especially well.

Vikander also offers the superior performance of the two leads, though as I noted earlier, a lot of this may stem from the nature of the script. The screenplay doesn’t give Einar/Lili much room to breathe, as he/she exists more as a symbol than as a real person. Redmayne does fine in the part, though I admit I find it hard to swallow that anyone accepts him as the female Lili; he always looks like a man in drag, and not an especially attractive one, either.

On the other hand, Gerda manages a true arc, and Vikander pulls off the related challenges well. The part requires her to go through a variety of attitudes beyond those expected of Einar/Lili, and Vikander portrays her in a complete, satisfying manner. Her success makes me wish the movie spent more time with her than with dull Einar/Lili.

Given how much we hear about transgendered individuals in today’s media, Danish Girl does tell a timely story. However, it doesn’t manage to become an especially involving drama, as it remains too superficial to live up to its promise.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

The Danish Girl appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not stellar, the transfer was good.

Overall definition seemed positive. Some softness crept into interior shots, but not to a major degree. Despite those minor soft spots, the majority of the movie appeared accurate and concise. I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.

Many period pieces opt for subdued palettes, and that was true here. The colors tended toward blue tones, with some amber along for the ride as well. These appeared fine within the film’s stylistic choices. Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. This added up to a satisfying presentation.

A character drama wouldn’t seem to be a candidate for a whiz-bang soundtrack, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Danish fell into expected realms. A few scenes – mainly related to parties. – used the various channels in a moderate manner. Usually the track remained oriented toward ambience, though, so don’t expect lots of sizzle from the mix.

Audio quality satisfied. Although didn’t get much score, the music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed positive.

Only one extra pops up here: The Making of The Danish Girl. This 11-minute, 29-second piece offers notes from author David Ebershoff, director Tom Hooper, screenwriter Lucinda Coxon, executive producer Linda Reisman, costume designer Paco Delgado, producers Gail Mutrux and Anne Harrison, makeup and hair designer Jan Sewell, and actors Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw and Amber Heard. We learn about the script/story, how Hooper came to the project, cast and performances, sets and locations, costume and visual design, and related thoughts. A few decent notes emerge, but this mostly seems like a standard promo piece.

The disc opens with ads for Suffragette, The Young Messiah, Trumbo, Race, Secret In Their Eyes and Spotlight. Previews adds promos for Dallas Buyers Club, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Promised Land and Brokeback Mountain. No trailer for Danish Girl appears here.

As a tale of a transgendered individual in a much earlier time, The Danish Girl comes with potential. Despite good talent involved, though, the movie seems thin and without great insight. The Blu-ray offers fairly positive picture and audio but lacks substantial bonus materials. Danish Girl lacks the depth it needs to succeed.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.25 Stars Number of Votes: 4
0 3:
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