Being that Darren and I both love watching lots and lots of movies, we decided to start a new weekly series where we challenge each other to watch a new movie that we enjoyed and feel the other one might also.
The rules are simple; it has to be a movie we have NEVER seen, (not just not reviewed)
Every Tuesday, we will both post both reviews on our sites.
Let’s hope we both can add lots of new favorites to our personal lists
Since it’s now Oscar Season, we decided to both review the same movie each week, so here are my thoughts on…..
Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Jan 2016)
Brief Synopsis – A fictionalized account of the life story of artist Einar Wegener who became one of the first people in the world to undergo a gender reassignment surgery back in the 1920’s.
My Take on it – A lot has been said over the years about gender switching roles in TV and movies.
Many of them have garnered lots of awards, some more deserving then overs, but lately it has become pure Oscar bait to play a gender switching role.
This movie unfortunately feels like it was made for that very purpose.
When I originally heard about it, I expected it to be a movie about a groundbreaking real life person who advocated gender reassignment after struggling all their life with not knowing their place in the world.
I actuality, it is a story about a person who seems to only have been “awakened” to their struggle by chance while “dressing up”.
I know that this last statement tries to oversimplify the story presented here, but we are given very little indication as to how long and how difficult his life was while he struggled with it apparently for years. There is a quick mention of a childhood event, but it isn’t explored enough and also doesn’t give us enough of a feeling that he has been really struggling for years.
There are too many scenes that are slowly drawn out instead of moving along to try and tell us the story properly.
Eddie Redmayne is pretty good here, but I don’t feel that this performance can be considered amongst the best of the year.
While doing a bit of research on the life story of Wegener/Elbe, I was surprised to learn that this is a VERY fictionalized version of the story which makes me wonder why they didn’t try to tell the real story instead of just trying to Hollywoodize it all for both the book and the movie.
Bottom Line – Too many scenes dragged on and part of the story doesn’t feel realistic enough. Redmayne is pretty good here, but I’m not sure this is one of the best performances of the year. Just because an actor or actress plays a member of the opposite sex doesn’t mean that it is award worthy. Makes me wonder why they needed to create a fictional account of his/her life instead of using the real story and Hollywoodizing it for the original book and subsequently the movie.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe wasn’t the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery, she was possibly among the first, because there was someone else who had gotten the operation a few months before. There was an institute in Berlin founded by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1919, that was like the Kinsey institute, and they were doing the operations, but the Nazis destroyed the files in 1933, so it’s not possible to know for sure who’s the first person who did the surgery. Lili was one of Hirschfeld’s patients. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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