Eddie Redmayne may soon be earning himself the title of ‘Two-Time Academy Award Winner’ if the buzz for his performance in The Danish Girl is anything to go by.
The Danish Girl has had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where an impressive ten-minute standing ovation was awarded. While many of those in attendance clearly thought the film was worthy of a warm reception, early reviews have been somewhat mixed.
The true story of Lili Elbe, one of the world’s first recipients of gender reassignment surgery, has been called “a lush and slightly stiff prestige movie” by The Wrap, “a cinematic landmark” by Variety, and “a determinedly mainstream melodrama that doesn’t really offer new perspectives” by The Guardian. Yet if there’s one thing most early reviews have in common, it’s the kudos handed to another strong performance by Redmayne.
Speaking to reporters at a Venice Film Festival press conference, Redmayne described the process in making the film as a “mammoth education”.
“I met many people from the trans community, both men and women,” Redmayne said. “I tried to meet people of different generations because the story is set at a time when there was no precedent. Across the board the generosity of people was amazing.”
Director Tom Hooper, who previously directed Redmayne in Les Misérables, said the actor’s role was approached with the idea that he would be playing a woman to be unveiled throughout the film.
“Rather than it being a process of how Eddie might learn to imitate a woman, it was about how he might create the impression that he was uncovering a latent femininity, a woman inside,” Hooper said. “This guided us through the process.”
There have been criticisms from some regarding the decision to cast a lead that was not of the trans gender community, an opinion that Hooper carefully responded to.
“Access to trans actors, women and men, to roles, both trans roles and cisgender roles, is utterly key, and I feel that within the industry at the moment there is a problem,” Hooper said.
“There is a huge pool of talented trans actors and the access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry could move forward and embrace trans actors in trans and cisgender roles and also celebrate and encourage trans filmmakers.”
The Danish Girl, also starring Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts, will be hitting the U.S. on November 27 and Australia on December 26. In case you still haven’t, watch the trailer HERE.