by DICK CHENEY
The Danish Girl
dir. Tom Hooper
Eddie Redmayne’s penis is a solid eight inches long. His wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) kisses his navel and makes a motion like she is wanting to put this beastly, perfect thing in her mouth. He shakes her off like a catcher asking for the the curveball, not the fastball, or maybe not wanting any balls whatsoever.
I was born with a penis. It is nowhere near the gargantuan size of Eddie Redmayne’s penis. No one would ever cut off a penis the size of Eddie Redmayne’s penis, certainly no one with any appreciation of aesthetics. After Eddie Redmayne starts dressing up like a turn-of-the-century Kathy Griffin, he gives up his life as a painter. He’s not into art as much anymore. The focus must be on tucking his penis under his nutsack — but the thing is so big it just comes out the back.
No one is even that surprised by how big this penis is, or even mentions it. Why show it off if it is not even a plot point? The Danish Girl has two dozen evocative images of Denmark and Paris, and yet there is nothing in this cynical, false film about how beautiful the human body is.
At one point Alicia Vikander shows off her tight ass and Eddie Redmayne covers her up. He is maybe more into dress-up than choosing one particular identity, we surmise. Turning gender identity into a kind of fashion game is merely one way director Tom Hooper planned to mangle this true story. After turning Les Misérables into a silly kind of costume show, he must have figured, I already butchered a great novel: why not history as well?
Since Gerda is not getting any sex or intimacy from her wife, who demands to be called Lili, she meets an art dealer (Matthias Schoenaerts) who refuses to buy or sell any contemporary art. “That’s okay,” Gerda says, explaining she really only wants a friend. At one point in the seemingly interminable two hours of The Danish Girl, she allows the man, whose name is Hugh, to kiss her salty, tear-stained face. A kiss and no more: the echoes of Cinderella are quite prominent in The Danish Girl, and deeply unflattering to Eddie Redmayne, who would be the wicked stepmother.
Sex is not allowed here, even in a movie that principally concerns the subject of gender. IRL Gerda married some douchebag who took all her money, not a man who is a Louis Vuitton model when he is not wetting his lips and befriending the wives of transgender individuals. Fudging the truth is the province of biopics, but this falsehood is nearly unforgivable, since it changes the ending of the story completely.
The Danish Girl is therefore a fake, and not even an entertaining one, since whatever Gerda and Hans share, it is not really touched on. Vikander dominates every scene in The Danish Girl all by her lonesome, seemingly trying to singlehandedly make up for all the cisgender men in this movie. Vikander is normally expert at conveying quiet pain, and the role of a spurned wife gives her a chance to be more demonstrative than usual. She is convincing as Gerda until she has to do tearful scenes on the eve of Eddie Redmayne’s penis surgery. Then The Danish Girl feels like a Mitch Albom chapter, and not a very convincing one.
I don’t think I ever did a review of The Theory of Everything. It was tragically bad, but at least Redmayne had to keep down his absurd overacting because Stephen Hawking only possessed so many potential facial expressions. He completely butchers this entire movie with bizarre preening and blinking, like he actually believes the entire idea of being a woman is basically to open and close as fast as you can, like a flower producing pollen.
And I mean, fuck you. Redmayne takes his big dick into a peep show booth, where he pantomines the movements of strippers. Because that is all a woman is. Instead of studying his wife, he has to practice his femininity in brothels. These scenes are not only boring and affected, they are so ancient as to become a cliché. Do you have any idea how stupidly reductive this shit is? It’s mean-spirited, too, like we are supposed to think: what a selfish child to be worried about how she touches her face, while her marriage splinters and tears apart!
Gerda achieves tons of fame and income from her paintings of Redmayne when he is dressed up as Lili. No one can possibly penetrate this disguise, even though Redmayne’s drag is five or six significant steps down from Mrs. Doubtfire. Between these lame scenes of Redmayne trying to pass with foundation, a little bit of lipstick and a hat, Hooper shows us the inspiration for the paintings of a generation. In doing so he represents this distinctive visual medium as merely representative, abdicating a key role. Yet he cannot even manage this simple translation of the life of Ms. Elbe.
We would be ecstatic to merely have the truth; it is the bare minimum to which any audience is entitled. If only this hack director would absorb the tiniest bit of integrity from secretions of his star’s prominent phallus, and say what really happened.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
“Beating Me Up” – Rachel Platten (mp3)
“Fight Song” – Rachel Platten (mp3)