Toronto International Film Festival: From Toronto, an inspired musical, a misguided post-apocalyptic flick, and The Danish Girl

The strange thing about The Danish Girl (Grade: C+) is that it conveys its trans heroine’s experiences in terms of erotic obsession—with silk stockings as the major fetish item—but is itself mostly sexless, at least as far as her life as a woman is concerned. Tom Hooper’s just-sophisticated-enough re-telling of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery, is all about the desire of female forms; a typical scene finds Elbe watching a peep show, copying a stripper’s movements until she notices through the glass, and the two enter into a mirror pas de deux. And yet, the movie resists the one thing that could prove that it has some guts—namely, it resists turning Elbe into an object of desire herself.

Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) is introduced as Einar Wegener, Copenhagen-based landscape artist, whose wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander …

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