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I was fine with this movie until the end. It wasn’t a terrible disappointment like the ending of The Departed or the end of The Happening, but rather the post-script of the movie which suggests the main character has become an icon of the transgender community kind of soured the whole thing for me.

The worst part is, the movie doesn’t really do that. In fact, the movie completely makes a diversion from the factual elements of the marriage of its true-life inspirations.

Set in the late 1920’s in parts of Western Europe, The Danish Girl is REALLY about Gerda Wegener, an American portrait artist played by Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), and her marriage to Einar Wegener, a landscape painter played by Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything). Gerda uses her husband Einar as a female model for a new series of paintings, calling her Lili. What starts as a game between the couple turns troublesome as Einar starts to Flex His X (my term for a man exhibiting more feminine tendencies) and soon his personality splinters into the two persona’s with Lili taking over quickly.

Eventually, Lili decides to literally cut Einar out of her in an extremely risky operation (for that time) for the ultimate “I’d rather die as myself than live as someone else” ending…I think.

Here’s where the film fails to make Einar/Lili a heroic icon of the transgender community. First, it didn’t really show how Lili was received by the society around her. Even more shots of judge mental looks and whispering a would have been good, but rather Gerda had to deal with that FAR MORE than Lili ever did. Lili got a little harassed and beat up in a park. That’s about it.

Second, the film spent so much time on Einar going to different doctors trying to figure out what’s “wrong” with him, baiting schizophrenia and other mental disorders that its easy for the viewer to start to believe Einar/Lili does in fact suffer from multiple-personality disorder. In which case, surgery may be the worst thing for him. It was confusing in that respect.

I know this movie was based on a book by David Eberschoff which completely butchered the true life accounts of its inspirational characters, but the movie could have incorporated more of the facts regarding these two. One missed fact was “Einar” was diagnosed as being intersexed and found to have both male and female sex organs and XXY chromosomes (aka Klinefelter’s Syndrome). This actually wasn’t medically recognized until 1942. This little tidbit would have portrayed Redmayne’s character as having a gender crisis rather than appearing to have multiple-personality disorder. It would also show him as making a brave decision and working through his crisis rather than a mentally ill person making an ill-advised decision.

If there is any hero in this movie it’s, Gerda. She stood by her husband through every step of this unusual situation and came to terms that she only wanted him to be safe and happy. Although it was hard to understand where this strength was coming from, Vikander’s performance helped sell it. She ran the gambit with her inner conflicts; joy, confusion, bitterness, sadness. I’m just glad her performance wasn’t all victim mentality, tear-filled eyes in every scene. Some of that was in there but her role was far more dynamic.

In fact, she carried the movie. Redmayne was also amazing but his character was so confusing to me, it soured his performance as well for me. This movie is Gerda’s story not Lili’s. She had more dialogue. She has more screen time. I don’t even know how she didn’t get nominated Best Actress rather than Best Supporting Actress. I read Focus Features campaigned her for that award to give her a better chance of winning but who knows.

I’ll also say the visual telling of the story was also good with Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) at the helm. There moments I was watching Danish Girl and thought This movie completely LOOKS like King’s Speech. So I looked it up and behold, Hooper as director. He has a very recognizable style which I enjoy. I just wish his material for this was a little more clear than it was.

Overall, The Danish Girl was decent but not stellar. With no political agenda on the subject in either direction, it was okay at best.

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 Two things the last four years of cinema have taught me, two certain directors are praised with critical and awards acclaim far more than they should. Those directors are Alejandro Inarritu and David O. Russell. This review is a case in point for the later.

To be frank, whomever said this movie was worth seeing for any reason other than Jennifer Lawrence in tight pants should be donkey punched in the throat.

Silver Linings Playbook is a slice of life dramedy about Pat Solatano Jr, played by Bradley Cooper (Burnt), who does a minimum court ordered stint in a state mental hospital before his mother checks him out. As he adjusts to life again and attempts to obsessively reconnect with his ex-wife, he meets and falls for Tiffany, played by Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Mockingbird Pt 2), a young widow with issues of her own.

It is always worse when Russell is directing his own screenplay because his work becomes so long it starts to feels like cutting a word of his own script would be sacrilege. This movie gets so lost in purpose, it’s almost like watching paint dry while attempting to figure calculus. I watched this love with my wife after hearing all the hubbub and seeing Lawrence win the Academy Award for best actress that year, but after it was over he both looked at each other and shook out heads. Holy crap that was nonsense and I didn’t care for anyone in it, we told each other.

Before I go any further, let me talk about what’s good. Bradley Cooper will someday be an Academy Award winner. It’s only a matter of time. This guy has chops and can handle VERY difficult complex characters. This performance was amazing from him. I just wish it was in a movie I actually gave a shit about.

Jennifer Lawrence is the new Meryl Streep. She is an adorable personality but also a highly talented actor and this movie showed that. To see an actor make a diamond of a lump coal being the screenplay is truly special. That is this gal.

And to be completely disrespectful, she fills a great pair of yoga pants so that helps an otherwise out-house of a movie become bareable. Here’s one of many scenes I’m referring to.  Okay, enough of that. Here’s really why the movie sucks. It’s no fun watching mentally challenged people fall in love and figure out how to make it work. It is no fun to watch a father only want his son around because he thinks his son is lucky and helps his gambling addiction. It’s no fun to watch Tiffany, who is obviously not done hurting from the loss of her cop husband, throw herself at a guy who isn’t capable of genuine love but rather love in an obsessive-compulsive manner. So with this, this movie is NO fun.

So now that we’ve established the material is no fun, neither is the direction since Russell wants to keep every scene from getting cut and keep the movie dragging unbearably long and slow. What’s more, the movie makes this unstable turn to become about Pat Sr, played by Robert De Niro (The Intern), instead of either Pat Jr or Tiffany. Why? If we even give a shot about either Pat Jr or Tiffany by this point, focus the movie on saving them not the father. Who gives a crap about if the father is happy? I want the hot girl in yoga pants to be happy, damn it!

Overall, I was confused where almost every character in the movie was coming from; which led me to not care; which led me to hate the fact I spent $1.30 to rent the damn thing.

After this and American Hustle, I’d be a fool to put good money down on seeing anything written and directed by David O. Russell.

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