108. The Danish Girl & Eddie Redmayne’s Wholesale Embrace of an Ancient Heresy


I imagine you’ve heard of the recent film The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne is getting lots of Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Einar Wegener, one of the first persons to undergo an attempted “sex change” operation in the early 1900s, renaming himself Lili Elbe.

I haven’t seen the movie, so this is not a review. I simply want to reflect on a strikingly alert comment Redmayne made about the story’s underlying philosophy. In an interview snippet that appears at the end of the trailer.

Redmayne says proudly and emphatically, “For me this film is a reassertion of the profundity of love: what an extraordinary thing it can be, how it is not defined by gender, by sexuality, by anything – it’s about the soul.”

To undiscerning ears, these words sound affirming, liberating, empowering, even down right “religious” – especially with Redmayne’s charm and evangelical proclamation behind them. But I don’t think you will ever find a clearer articulation or unabashed celebration of the error underlying the whole of the modern cultural crisis than this, an error that attacks everything true Christian faith stands for at its deepest roots.

I could tell you what the error is, but you know what they say about taking the easy way. What do they say? Well, I could tell you, but that would be taking the easy way, and you know what they say about that (any Dr. Doofenshmirtz fans out there?).

I’ll follow up in my next blog, but for now I’d like to get the conversation going. Who can name the heresy being celebrated in Redmayne’s statement and articulate why it is so dangerous? Share your answers on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Focus Features