I went to a movie last night … The Danish Girl. It’s the story of a young man in Copenhagen who knows that in his soul he is a woman. He becomes Lili – emotionally, spiritually, and then physically. The critics are raving about Eddie Redmayne in the title role but I was overwhelmed with Alicia Vikander as his wife.
Here’s what the Palm Springs International Film Festival had to say:
“In The Danish Girl, Alicia Vikander delivers a superb performance as Gerda Wegener, the wife of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “She projects so much love and pain as she goes on a journey with Lili during an era when there was no precedent for it. Gerda’s own transformation as a character speaks to the story’s themes of courage and self-acceptance. For her astonishing screen presence and masterful performance, we are delighted to present Alicia Vikander with the 2016 Rising Star Award.”
Like you, I’ve seen love masterfully presented in many films, but nothing like this. And for me it’s not about how good an actress Alicia is. She so thoroughly becomes Gerda that it’s her love doing the speaking. She continues to treasure her husband as Einar becomes Lili. She sees their sexual intimacy floating away but doesn’t stop adoring another human being. Gerda calls her partner “Lili” as she kisses her cheek. Her face is magical.
I’m going to buy the DVD when it comes out so I can play four or five scenes over and over, to remind myself what loving is. Many are the times when I felt the same reverence coming from my dear wife Jody to me. I just need to be reminded … often.
May I again experience the astonishing caring that Gerda gave to her loved one.