“Danish Girl” Dazzles

imagePretty as a picture as it slow-dances into a watercolor daydream, Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl (B) is a graceful historical true story often told at a beguiling distance. In 1920’s Copenhagen, the plaintive painter played by Eddie Redmayne awakens into his true gender identity with the loving support of a very open-minded artist wife, magnificently played by Alicia Vikander. Redmayne is committed to the performance and conjures great empathy with his porcelain features showcasing a full master class as both confused lad and emboldened lady; but the script and direction don’t always do the audience favors of helping get under the emotional surface. The third act fails to build successfully on the promise of the preceding plot and sticks a bit by the book, albeit impeccable costumed and gorgeously lit. It’s an important work and a daring topic, but it keeps within a museum glass what might have been a more well-rounded, frank, raw and conflict-laden human drama.