Eddie Redmayne plays a woman trapped in a mans body in a beautiful, intricate but ultimately cold and drawn out movie with Redmayne in particular giving a performance bound to be over-rated.


From the start the film makes sure to tackle what is obviously a difficult subject with care as it slowly builds up the characters. Before tearing them down as the happy marriage between Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda (Alicia Vikander) hits the rocks when he realises that he is actually a woman, Lili. We then follow the three of them on the emotionally torturous journey as they both come to terms with the facts and have the bravery to admit them to the rest of the world.


There are several beautifully crafted scenes where the fear that people with these problems must go through (and more particularly must have been through in the past) and its messages of accepting others no matter who they are is one that comes across strongly.

The problem with the film however is that these messages are repeated to the audience so often that it becomes a little tiresome. The film has a runtime of just under two hours, but it honestly felt a lot longer. I feel that the entire story would have had a more lasting affect if it had been condensed somewhat. It all just felt too much.


I also found that Redmayne’s performance was rather distracting. I left the cinema feeling as if Eddie Redmayne had hit me with a hammer whilst shouting “I’ve played a man and a woman in the same film. It was emotional. Give me my second Oscar.” over and over. And whilst I’m sure critics rave about him; I didn’t feel it was that fantastic; sure the character went through a change; but I didn’t feel any sort of connection with Einar or Lili. In fact Redmayne somewhat distanced me from both as he played them in a introverted sort of way (I presume this was done purposefully, but for me it didn’t work).


In fact for me the story is about Gerda and how she copes with losing her husband and accepting him for who he is. If anyone from this film deserves an Oscar nomination it is Vikander who is the only character the audience is allowed to feel empathy for.

In summary the film looks beautiful and has an important message, particularly in current times. It is a film that is important but fails to deliver on an emotional level.