Saturday, January 02, 2016

If only...

...someone else had directed The Danish Girl.
To mark a new year, here is a new strand of post that will allow myself to dream of what could have been. Perhaps a bit negative for 2 January? Anyway...it is always disappointing to watch a film that does not seem to have a connection to its director. Tom Hooper is an accomplished and obviously capable director but there is little evidence in his new film that he was interested in the film's themes of gender and sexuality. Instead he seems to force its characters to conform into gendered roles that does not reflect the reality of their situation. Gerda (passionately portrayed by Alicia Vikander) is the committed, doting wife who supports her husband despite his selfish and harmful actions. It follows the status quo of countless films where women stand by their men. This project would be an exciting opportunity to explore society's attitude towards gender and sexuality, instead it dodges the more interesting aspects of the real relationship between the two in favour of a conservative narrative. Imagine if someone like Todd Haynes or Pedro Almodovar had directed this? (Or Marielle Heller!) Now that could have been a wonderful film...instead we have a film with some fine performances hiding a dangerously conservative adaptation of a very complicated relationship.

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