Today is Oscar Day and I thought I would discuss one of the movies currently nominated for an Academy Award, The Danish Girl. While the movie is nominated for Best Male Lead Actor, Eddie Redmayne, and Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Vikander, I wanted to focus more on the visual effect of the movie. The acting in The Danish Girl is wonderful, the actors are a pleasure to watch, but I was more struck by the elegance of what was going on around them.
The movie is set in a variety of locations, but what I found the most beautiful were the scenes set within Denmark. Both of the main characters are artists, which obviously seems to have inspired the set designers while creating the scenery. The theater where Einer Wegener, this is very early in the movie before Lili is ever mentioned, visits has what I believe are tutus, though admittedly I was going off of what they looked like to me and not what they may actually have been, mounted near light fixtures. This allows for scenes to be filmed in which Redmayne is half shrouded while speaking. The shadowing and lightness of the atmosphere is visually intriguing and sets the mood for his later scene, where he becomes Lili to go out in public.
When I first saw the Wegener home, which later becomes the home that Lili and Gerda live in together for a period of time, I was struck by how much it reminded me of a painting. The brushstrokes and shading seemed reminiscent of something I would see if I were looking at the painting of a house within an art museum. The blues were elegant and seemed to be both vibrant, yet subdued, as the actors moved within the set. Yes, that sounds contradictory, but the blues varied within the home and depending on the mood of the scene the lighting was either bright or very shadowed, which changed the appearance of the home.
Beyond the sets, the costuming in The Danish Girl was elegant and exceptionally glamorous. The details in the female characters clothing throughout were just delightful to see. A nightgown that is worn by both Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne had intricate lacing patterns and the material itself flowed elegantly. The layering and use of scarves also added pattern and depth to the clothing that women wore within the film, in comparison to more dark and plain suited men.
I don’t know if Redmayne will win the Oscar, but I will say that the movie was lovely to watch and the story itself was emotional and heart wrenching. The ending is very sad, and knowing that The Danish Girl is based on real people made it even sadder.
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