„Entirely myself. “, was Lili Elbe’s answer to the question, how she is feeling after her second sex change surgery. Lili Elbe or, as in the beginning of the movie, Einar Wegner, is a Danish landscape artist who is luckily married to the beautiful and very talented portrait artist Gerda Wegner. One day when Gerda is lacking a model, she makes Einar wear a dress and pose for her new painting. When the couple makes a game out of it and dress Einar into a women for one evening, he more and more discovers that he feels better in a woman’s body and continues doing so until he realises that he seriously can’t be happy anymore going on as a man.
What is mostly inspiring to me in this movie is that it is based on a true story. Lili Elbe has really existed and was one of the first persons doing sex changing surgery. So it’s not just a meaningless story about anyone. It shows a real life and embodies what probably many if not all transgender have to deal with.
It somehow gives you an idea of how it must be when you are living in a body that doesn’t conform with your mind. Einar goes through different phases of not knowing what’s happening, thinking about to kill himself, acceptance and in the end braveness and happiness.
Eddie Redmayne brilliantly manages to embody all those feelings and perfectly fits into the roll. However, Alicia Vikander who plays his wife Gerda acts her roll very well too. She is a playful and creative figure who turns out to be very strong and courageous. Gerda always abides by Lili. She makes Lili possible, as without her, Einar wouldn’t have had enough courage and trust to fulfil his feelings.
All of this, together with the beautiful costumes of the 1920s and the artistic atmosphere, make a great movie which also provokes thoughts even after the show.