Sterling performances by Eddie Redmayne and especially Alicia Vikander lift this costumed drama from the merely topical to rarefied heights. Fine arts painter Einar Wegener (Redmayne) decides he’s a woman trapped in a man’s body, and his wife and fellow artist Gerda (Vikander) not only humors him, but participates in his transformation to “Lili Elbe.” Rather than making Lili’s gender reassignment the total focal point of the story, director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon (adapting David Ebershoff’s novel) place the sexual identity plot in context, as the two partners deal with life in the artistic fast lane in Copenhagen and Paris in the Roaring Twenties. The production values, which include sumptuous Beaux-Arts interiors, are half the fun. Costarring Matthias Schoenaerts (120 min.).
Director: Tom Hooper
Producer: Tom Hooper, Gail Mutrux, Anne Harrison, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Linda Reisman, Ulf Israel, Kathy Morgan and Liza Chasin
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts