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Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2017
This film isn't what I expected at all. It was hard to watch at the beginning because I was raised somewhat religious, but I'm glad I finished the film. I have only recently learned about what its like to be born Transgender and my heart goes out to those born that way. I have tried to influence those I've heard express unkind opinions, but I realize many don't know better. I enjoyed this much more than I would have a few years ago, and I fell in love with all the characters for being so understanding in a time one would never expect to see it. I must believe poor "Lily" suffered much more adverse attention than she had in this film--She was very lucky for having such loving friends support and care for her. I recommend highly
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2016
Three stars for great acting by the principal characters. Eddie Redmayne was very good. However, the story did not portray a believable or very credible portrayal of this persons transition into a female. It seemed to be more an exercise in "dressing up," and focusing on feminine trappings and clothes than psychologically transition into being a woman. Also, the medical and psychological stuff going on just showed how this fairly naive person spiraled into self-destruction unnecessarily. It makes one think there must have been more to that part of the story. What was really going through her mind at that point? Remake the movie with the same actors, but next time do more research into this process and bring that persons life to the screen in a more credible manner.
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2017
Eddie Redmayne gives a heartbreaking performance as Lili Elbe, a trans artist in 1920s Denmark. Lili's pain is palpable as she tries to make the people around her understand her while at the same time fighting to be who she was meant to be. She is told she has a chemical imbalance, is mentally ill, & is even subjected to shock treatments. I cried like a baby at the end of this movie. Everyone should see it, especially if they have a hard time understand trans people. You can't watch this & not appreciate the heartache of being forced to pretend that you are something/someone that you aren't meant to be.
This movie is on the depressing side, but somebody clearly put a lot of thought in it far above and beyond quantifying exactly how much T&A it needed. I'm a bit unclear as to why Vikander looked so much better in the movie than she did on the red carpet. Maybe the movie makers understand her beauty better than she herself does. Eddie Redmaine plays an artist and husband who needs to be a woman. There ensues then a competition between he and his wife to see who can suffer the most from this (at the time the movie depicts) impossible challenge. Whatever love Redmaine's character has for his wife does not stop him from dumping her at his will and convenience. In the meantime, a friend of the Redmaine's character then gets no love from Redmaine's tortured wife. But the acting is worth watching, and there is a lushness to the cinematography that makes the movie worthwhile. And finally, as I said, someone who made the movie was looking to fill us up with ideas to ponder, rather than just entertain us.
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2018
Sensual, erotic, magnetic, and heart wrenching. I felt Einar's deep desire to become Lili and the pain to want to be finally herself. It was so genuine and hard to watch because he so wants to come out of this shell that felt wrong for him. Gerda wants so badly to have her husband back but yet she was willing to stick it out with Lili but Lili wasn't interested in a relationship with Gerda. And I felt Gerda's despair and in the end, i fell apart when Lili died. Just such powerful performances from Alicia and Eddie. Love these two on this movie.
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016
Despite the film not being completely true to the real life characters and the controversy of hiring a cisgendered man to play Lili, I am in love with the beauty and subtlety of this movie. Eddie and Alicia floor me with their performances, I could not break away. As a painter, the lighting, landscapes, framing and emphasis on the artwork was such an essential and well-executed part of the whole film. As stated earlier, this film is wonderfully balanced in showing both sides of the story: Lili's struggle to be herself, and the struggle of Gerda to understand+support Lili while letting her husband go. I want to watch it again. I feel as if I could watch it as a silent film just to enjoy further the subtly of Redmayne's presence. And look out for that smile
Strong powerful film about a pioneer of transgenders and the life she lived. The performances were so breathtaking and so heartbreaking at times how anyone cannot see this film and not be moved is beyond me. Eddie once again takes on a roll and loses himself in it, becoming the person he is playing so well that he almost disappears into the person.
Give this movie a chance... so sad at times, gripping powerful...yet so good.
I got a phone call from a old school chum and they wanted to know all about the details in the video and was my experience like Lili's. Woops, I had not seen or heard of the video as out here in the bush its a quiet life with small interruptions. So I ordered the DVD and than was hooked as I personally know there is more to this story and you can only do so much with the mass of material in hand to produce a 2 hour DVD. The DVD was great and well worth the time spent watching it. Having walked the walk I had to research the book and other details. Sad to say Lili is only available on Kindle so I had settle for the book. I was not disappointed, each had this value. The sadness in both the book and DVD story line is that Lili was very much alone and was trying to make separate personalities/persons of both the male and female. As a mental Health Professional I concur with the author in his summation of Lili and the death of her male self. Its not possible to ignore where one comes from and of those life experiences, its who we are the total some. I honor all that I am and the journey, as the Medical staff I dealt with asked me, "why are you here?" My answer was "to become a whole person" This is all Lili wanted but at the time as for many of us finding the pathway to success there is difficulty.
What a disappointment. I love cooking and baking, especially cakes, buns and PASTRIES. When I sat down to watch this dvd I was expecting step by step instructions on how to bake an exciting variety of Danish pastries, presented no doubt by whichever vibrant, female, celebrity chef is currently flavour of the month. I was soon to learn my mistake. What came on the screen instead was the true story of a man who embarks upon a quest to become a woman. If you're interested in social history, gender politics, or you just like a nice story of an individual's personal struggle to live his life as he chooses, which is well acted, with a great cast and is beautifully shot, then this is the film for you. If you want an instructional dvd detailing the process of making sweet treats, then you will be bitterly disappointed. I watched this with my grandparents, who ran a bakery shop for 42 years. They lost they're business after being closed down as my grandfather, a keen Christian, had refused to serve what he called, "any type of poofter." Imagine his rage as he sat through this film. At one point he went so red I thought he was about to suffer a stroke! I don't think I'll invite him to see the sequel if they should bother to make one. One point though, I have begun to wear dresses when I do my baking now....... Enjoy the film.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2016
Eddie Redmayne is a revelation in this film - a stunning performance from him and his co-star. Funny, charming, poignant and moving. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more thought provoking.
Outstanding movie.tastefully and respectfully put together by everyone involved. Redmayne once again proving why he's one of the actors to watch at the moment doing and incredibly convincing job. But for me the film was only made better by the amazing Alicia Vikander who has once again shone and in some ways made you feel the story was as much yours as Redmayne character.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2017
Such swift delivery and so grateful for it, for when I watched the film I was just so engulfed with the performances, the music and the design; I truly missed out on seeing it in the cinema. Yet, this film, I find, is such an intimate film that it is best watched alone- no distractions- just you, Gerda, Einar and Lili.