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THE DANISH GIRL

 

Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow

Directed by Thomas Alfredson

Written by Lucinda Coxon

Pretty Pictures, Harrison Productions, Blossom Films

Who was the first man in history to volunteer for the intricate, experimental surgery that would, with luck, turn him into a woman? He was a Danish artist by the name of Einar Wegener, and he embarked on his/her new life as the ultra feminine Lili Elbe immediately after being wheeled out of a Dresden operating room one earthshattering day in 1931.

In “The Danish Girl,” David Ebershoff’s well reviewed, vigorously fictionalized version of the facts, published in 2000, Wegener-Elbe was still legally married to Greta Waud, a wealthy painter from Pasadena, California, at the time of the surgery. And, according to novelist Ebershoff, Greta did not easily give up on her man, even after he’d became a woman—something Einar might never have dreamed of doing had his wife not persuaded him to slip into a lovely silk frock and sexy stockings and pose for a portrait she was working on.

The instant physical and emotional transformation astonished both Einar and Greta, and one can only imagine the depth and delicacy Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow will bring to the roles of husband and wife, respectively, as they explore a brave, if baffling, new world.

The question is: Will Nicole, in the early, pre-op, scenes of the film, be half the man that Gwyneth was in “Shakespeare in Love”? --Guy Flatley Opening date to be announced