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Oscar Films for 2016: The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl was not nominated for the Best Picture of the Year (and I could see why not, if the Academy of Moving Pictures Arts and Sciences is primarily men---70% or more?---the guy/girl did slice his junk off), but the two primary actors, Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne were nominated for Best Actor/Actress and the costumes were also nominated. I did see the film and I did want to comment on it primarily for the Best Actor/ess nominations.

Why was Mr. Redmayne nominated for Best Actor? The whole concept of transgender transformation is hot right now thanks to Bruce, now Kaitlyn, Jenner. But then the transgender transformation has had its hot moments throughout history.

The Roman Emperor Nero (he of the "Burn this Sucker---Rome---Down!" Fame), who had made transforming plans for an Upgraded and Better Rome while he was fiddling around, had lost a beloved sister (how "beloved" we can only speculate although the members of the Augustian Family of Emperors, Gaius Caligua ::cough::, were well noted for their sister love) and had found a beautiful boy slave who looked just like her in all particulars but the genitial embodiment. Nero re-furbished his boy toy slave much like he re-furbished the burnt out Rome. He had his slave not only castrated but Castrated in every sense of the word. He also was looking for a Roman surgeon, at the time of his suicide---all that re-furbishment caused resentment among the Praetorian Guards---who would give his boy toy a vagina. Nero was tired of being a back door man.

Much closer in time and in our own country, Christina Jorgensen, was a WWII infantry soldier who became a woman after her service to her country. She made a good living as an oddity of the mid-twentieth century although she was not covered by any GI benefits in her transformation. The US military is correcting that evasion these days.

Einar Wegener was the Danish girl of the movie title who also lived out his life and its transformation publicly. He wanted to become the woman inside him and perhaps went too far in that pursuit for the medical possibilites of his era.

The movie, The Danish Girl, did Mr./Miss Wegener no kindnesses or understanding. It was a horrendous, misgyonist, hollow, papier-mâché presentation of a Woman trapped and hidden in a Man's body. The movie had no concept of what a woman is, other than what is seen through male eyes and interpreted through the male vision of womanhood. At first, I thought that the movie was being ironic in its gaze at Women. The movie does have a real woman, Miss Vikander, who is acting a real woman in it and that is the only reason why I can suppose that she was nominated for the Best Actress award. She should have been nominated for Best Actress for Ex Machina as a robot who becomes a real woman in her own right and who overcomes false male interpretations that hinder and obstruct her.

But in one vile and ugly scene in The Danish Girl movie, I realized that the movie had no sophistication or empathy for Women. It had no Woman in its heart or themes. The scene is where Einar/Lilli goes to a Voyeur Brothel and imitates the prostitute who is performing an erotic dance for the Male Gaze. That whole scene is a concept of the Male for Woman to meet the Male Gaze and the Male Needs. What does that scene have anything to do with a real Woman or her Desires or Needs or Mind? Nuthin'! It is all about the Male. Even Einar/Lilli has a moment of failure when he/she runs her hands along her crotch, uh oh a penis lurks there. Nothing but Penis lurks throughout this whole movie. There is No Girl or Woman Here or There.

Perhaps Mr. Redmayne realized this while making the movie and that is why he is so false to any Woman who might be lurking within his character's psyche. I would like to think that, otherwise this is one hell of a misgyonist and bigoted and crude imitation of a transgender. Mr. Redmayne should have been in a Monty Python movie not this one.

If Mr. Redmayne was playing this role straight, then he has no more a concept of Woman than our present day Miss Jenner appears to have. Miss Jenner seems to be stuck in her makeup and her Loubitins and all the physical accroutements that she mistakes for womanhood. I can understand why, she did live and lie with the Kardashians for decades and the Kardashians have never bothered with their souls or their inner beings other than to barter them to the Devil.

There are better standards for transgenders than Miss Jenner, I have met a few. They are Women. And there are better actors who can present the Woman in a Man and her bid for freedom than Mr. Redmayne. Give Denis O'Hare in this season's American Horror Story a look. He is wearing all the costume pieces of a "Woman", earrings, heels, false fingernails, makeup, etc., but there is a woman underneath the fright mask. And she doesn't need a wig to show it. He got it right. I have yet to see Transparent so I can't speak to that.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2016 05:37 pm (UTC)
Wow!!! I spoke to a coworker who hated this film. He said it was "weird" and that he was knocked out of the movie when Eddie rolled up his stockings really slowly after seeing his wife put hers on normally.

After reading your review i feel sad about what could have been in the Danish Girl. Perhaps this is the cis gendered white man's stereotype of transgendered women: strange exotic fetishizations of females. It reminds me of the criticism that Blacks only win for upholding the stereotypes of the white gaze. Halle was a sex oject for a white man. Slaves win Oscars... etc. I dont know thay i buy that... i think its more complicated than that...

Any chance the movie was really about his wife?

Oh and that's another thing that has ALWAYS irritated me about the Oscars. They retroactively award people. That year Helen Hunt won and Judi lost for Mrs. Brown deviatated me. And then Judi won for stepping over a puddle while dressed up as Elizabeth I. That only one instance of many... Now they are giving a nod to Miss Vikander when they ignored Ex Machina. Did Helen get any recognition for her sex therepy movie? She was so good in that.

Edited at 2016-01-26 05:59 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2016 07:34 pm (UTC)
Woman? Schwomin!
He said it was "weird" and that he was knocked out of the movie when Eddie rolled up his stockings really slowly after seeing his wife put hers on normally.

There it is! In that sentence you have captured everything I hate about this movie and Mr. Redmayne's performance.

Miss Vikander is just a woman, she is very natural and low key in the movie. She simply IS A WOMAN. And she gets nominated for that? Just how poor are representations of WOMEN in film for that performance to receive an Oscar nomination. Does anyone at the Academy have a sense of Irony?

I don't dislike Mr. Redmayne. He is a good actor and a good physical actor, see his performance in The Theory of Everything. But I don't know what he thought that he was doing in this film, every physical move that he makes is false except when he reaches for the pregnant woman's belly at the end of the film. His physical performance seems to indicate that he doesn't know how to be a Woman, but his character is a Woman in a Man's body. How does that Hidden Woman manifest her real self? It ain't his way.

In some ways, Mr. Redmayne's performance resembles Burt Lancaster's drag performance in The Crimson Pirate. Mr. Lancaster's performance is ALL DRAG and exaggerations but in great good fun and comic. He practically flutters off the screen in his ribbons and ruffles. (The rest of the movie is Mr. Lancaster topless and that makes it a FINE movie.) The Danish Girl does not call for that kind of impersonation and yet that is what Mr. Redmayne delivers. What was the director of the film thinking, allowing this to happen? Was Redmayne's performance a mocking tribute to Lancaster's performance?

I am not in on the joke.

And yeah, it does seem that sometimes the academy is making up for its mistakes in the previous year with some of its nominations and the winners that they produce the next year. Miss Dench got her deserved oscar for Mrs. Brown the next year with a win with another British Queen. (Queen, heheh). I think that Miss Hunt was nominated for our Movie Night movie sex therapist, but she had won earlier for something less deserving and so didn't deserve the award, or so I think (and you think too) the academy thinks and works that way. The academy can be devious and sly in some ways.

Edited at 2016-01-26 07:39 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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