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Out on DVD this month


GIRL Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are jaw-droppingly good in Te Danish Girl, with Redmayne turning in a performance of understated power and complexity that cements his reputation as the go-to guy for physically demanding roles. I’m getting that out of the way early because, otherwise, I have some serious misgivings about this ostensibly true story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe.


THE DANISH


Te conversation surrounding transgender issues has become impossible to ignore over the last year or so, and rightly so. Tat said, my problem with TDG is that while it presents itself as a true story, it is, in fact, only loosely based on a book which was, in turn, only loosely based on fact. Tis means that TDG’s more syrupy and sentimental moments (of which there are many) are


May FILM RELEASES


06 May Knight of Cups I am reliably informed by some that Terrence Malick is a modern cinematic genius. I, however, think his films are dull, pretentious and slow. But it’s not all about me, so, here we have an ensemble cast (Bale, Portman, Banderas, Blanchett, Dennehy… Dennehy?) performing for two hours of your life that you will never get back about a frowning man who has lots of sex but very little love. Or dialogue.


13 May Green Room Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) directs this violent thriller about a punk gig gone wrong. I don’t mean that the bar runs out, I mean the band witness a horrifying act of violence and become the target of a vicious group of skinheads. How horrifying? So horrifying that apparently when Sir Patrick Stewart (oh yeah, no fucking about with casting this one) read the script, he had to have a stiff drink and a little clear out. Brilliant.


18 May X-Men: Apocalypse Bryan Singer, director of Usual Suspects and sewing machine magnate, returns to the franchise that he started and re-started for this sequel to a prequel. Starring James McAvoy as young Sir Patrick Stewart, Sophie Turner as ginger Famke Janssen and Alexandra Shipp as punk Halle Berry, plus loads of other X-Men/Women both new and old. No Wolverine though.


27 May Money Monster George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in this real-time thriller about a financial TV host and his producer who have to race against time (1hr 35mins to be exact) when an irate investor with nothing to lose takes over the studio during a live broadcast and forces them to unravel a conspiracy involving high-tech global markets and such. Smiley


May DVD RELEASES


04 March Citizen Kane: 75th Anniversary Edition Orson Welles’ groundbreakingly post-modern masterpiece is remarkable for a host of reasons, not least of which being the fact that that auteur was only 26 when he made it. Absolutely essential.


09 May Te Hateful Eight All the best elements of Tarantino – the dialogue, the unflinching cool, the hilariously stylised violence – pressure-cooked in one room until it explodes. To my mind his best film since Pulp Fiction. Yeah, I said it.


16 May Orange is the New Black: Season 3 Netflix’s prison dramedy has been a runaway success since its first season, and with good reason. An ensemble of memorable characters whose backstories, which slowly unfurl in flashback, are as meaty as the main course, make this a unique binge-viewing experience. A box of seasons 1-3 is released simultaneously if you need to catch up.


23 May SpotlightTe surprise winner (but, if you recall our predictions, not to us) of the Best Picture Oscar at this year’s ceremony recounts the Boston Globe’s efforts to uncover the, err, “lenient” treatment of paedophile priests by the Catholic Church. Te kind of Important (capital “I” intentional) film Hollywood is supposed to be making (see Te Danish Girl review). Jay Freeman


very difficult to accept as poetic license, and make the whole film appear glib, manipulative, opportunistic and, ultimately, patronizing.


If mainstream films have any worth at all other than as pretty distractions, then it is their ability to catalyze change, and what I find unforgivable about TDG is that it misses an opportunity to be genuinely important. It could have been a powerful contribution to the ongoing discussion around transgenderism and its mainstream acceptance, but by its reluctance to say anything potentially challenging about its subject, it is reduced to little more than a


tragic love story (albeit a sumptuously presented one) that seems to exploit the conversation rather than add to it.


In short, Te Danish Girl doesn’t have any balls.


Jay Freeman


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