I watched The Danish Girl for the first time over spring break. The Danish Girl is a beautifully presented story about Einar Wegener’s, a Danish landscape painter, who emotionally and physically struggles as he transitions into his true self, a woman called Lili Elbe. With the support of wife Greda Wegner, Einar becomes the first person to undergo gender-reassignment surgery.
The cinematography creates an impression of many scenes being similar to paintings, lit in various dreamlike fashions, which reflects on how Greda and Einar cope with transgender in the time period. Greda’s paintings promote and help Einar transition, and throughout the film Einar truly finds himself as a woman and Lili comes alive through art. Director Tom Hooper, and cinematographer Danny Cohen use painting and aesthetically pleasing visuals to transform Einar’s painful and ludicrous transition into a woman as a beautiful and inspiring story.
Evidently, transgender is a controversial topic within itself and it would be arguable to say that people are comfortable with it even today, but the way The Danish Girl sets up the topic is in a positive light which forces the audience to recognize a true understanding of the overarching concept.