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.