5 Reasons The Danish Girl Should Win an Oscar
5 Reasons 'The Danish Girl' Should Win an Oscar
It's true: Cis people need to stop capitalizing on trans lives for their own gain, and trans people need to be able to play trans roles before cis folks do. With that being said, I still think The Danish Girl deserves to win an Oscar for other reasons. Aside from it being a beautiul work of cinema, it made me cry like a baby in the theater.
Alicia's performance and character formed my favorite part of The Danish Girl. She gently pulled the film away from her costar and made The Danish Girl as much a movie about her character, Gerda Wegener, as it is about Lili's transition. While I don't think trans stories should be about a cis experience, I feel like her experience enriched this specific story with it being set duting the time period it was. Since Mya Taylor from Tangerine was not nominated for Best Supporting Actress, I think a transcentric film should still win this category. Personally, I feel like Alicia made the film great through Gerda's clear depth, kindesss, strength, and deep love for Lili.
The costumes for this film are oustanding articles of clothing on their own, but they also play a large part in the audience's understanding of Lili in her transition. When we first meet Lili as Einar, whose clothing represents a person experiencing inner strain, she is shown in constricting and traditional male clothing. Lili was trapped in a cage that took the form of a suit and tie. She went as far as to paint in full suits. Einar's look includs unusually high stiff collars, rigid ties. and heavy fabrics. As Lili transitions the costumes become more sensual and liberating. She's suddenly wearing soft, vibrant, and free-flowing articles of clothing. It's beautiful to watch.
Set Production Quality
As in its costume design, this film uses other visuals in a way that transforms alongside Lili. The viewer sees lots of blues and grays in the artwork and settings in the beginning, and as the sets shift from Copenhagen to Paris, so do the energy and color schemes. Also, the molding, furniture, and lighting used make the period piece incredibly realistic, providing a chance to experience what it may have felt like to be a part of a fringe identity at a much different time.
Lana Wachowski & Rebecca Root
Lana is known for her work as the codirector of The Matrix and creator of Sense8. She's also a trans woman. She was given a thank-you credit at the end of the film. Eddie Raymane says Lana helped him prepare for his role as a trans woman: "She pointed me to where to start reading: Jan Morris's book Conundrum, Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaw, and Niels Hoyer's book about Lili, Man Into Woman. I absolutely adore Lana. She's such a generous human being." It's nice to know that at least some trans folks were involved in the making of the film, including Rebecca Root (who plays a nurse).
It'd be hard to see yet another cis person walking away from the Oscars with an award for playing a trans person. However, I think I'd feel less sad about seeing Eddie Redmayne do it than other actors. He described his experience playing Lili nicely. The hardest moment in the course of shooting The Danish Girl, he said, was stepping onto the set in female form and sensing the eyes of gaffers and electricians gauging the persuasiveness of his appearance. “It was a feeling that, apparently, women are substantially more used to,” he said. “That was incredibly nerve-racking, and yet it must be nothing like what it’s like for a trans woman the first time she goes out." His performance was on point and exquisite. Also, his intentions and education on the trans community are really good. All political issues aside, Eddie gave an Oscar-worthy performance.
Much of the language and many of ideas in the film are problematic because sometimes Lili is viewed as an alter ego of Einar. While this kind of dismisses trans identity, it shows the lack of support and language around being transgender at one time. In fact, Lili was regularly seen as mentally ill. and she had to figure out everything that she was feeling out on her own. This is important for everyone to look at. Also, Lili deserves to be remembered as a pioneer, and an Oscar would be a good way to do that.