Monday, September 7, 2015

The Danish Girl - Transgender Tolerance at the Venice Film Festival

Eddie Redmayne as The Danish Girl - Universal Pictures
(Venice, Italy) The Danish Girl, directed by Tom Hooper, is based on a true story about a Danish man, Einer Wegener, who, through pioneering surgery, transformed into a Danish woman, Lili Elbe, almost a century ago, and the wife who loved her. Both Eddie Redmayne, the Academy-Award winning male actor who plays the transgender woman, Lili, and Alicia Vikander, the Swedish female star who plays her wife, Gerda, have gotten raves for their performances.

If there is criticism, the reviews think the movie is too elegant and tasteful, and does not take enough risks.

From BBC Culture:

"The Danish Girl tells the story of one of the world’s first male-to-female gender-reassignment operations, and even though it is set in the late 1920s and early 1930s, ie, quite some time before Caitlyn Jenner, Hooper may have felt that it had to be decorous and decorative so as not to put off nervous viewers."

From Variety:

"In order to penetrate the conversation of “polite” society, however, one must play by its rules, and “The Danish Girl” is nothing if not sensitive to how old-fashioned viewers (and voters) might respond, scrubbing the story of its pricklier details and upholding the long-standing LGBT-movie tradition of tragically killing off the “monster” in the end."

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"One might have wished for a more adventurous approach to this moving story, particularly at a time when transgender representation has taken over from gay rights as the next equality frontier. On the other hand, maybe the film's conventionality is exactly what's needed at this time to enlighten mainstream audiences on transgender issues?"


I thought the movie got the tone just right, especially because it premiered here in Venice, a city famous for centuries for its religious freedom, freedom of expression, pioneering press and openness to other cultures -- that is, until a couple of months ago, when the new mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, took office in June. Some of Brugnaro's first moves were to yank 49 pre-school books that dealt with tolerance and inclusiveness with respect to race, disability, sexual orientation and different types of families off the shelves, and then proclaim he would block next year's Gay Pride Parade.

Neptune Offering Gifts to Venice - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1750)
One could just feel Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, hitch up her skirts, let down her hair and apply a fresh coat of lipstick...

Ciao from the Venice Film Festival,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. The Danish Girl, directed by Tom Hooper, is based on a true story about a Danish man, Einer Wegener, who, through pioneering surgery, transformed into a Danish woman, Lili Elbe, almost a century ago, and the wife who loved her.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...