The Great Beauty

‘The Danish Girl’ and ‘Youth’: Why We Need To Stop Giving White Guys Oscars

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Another way for a male actor to win an award is to put on a dress and play a trans woman (see Jared Leto and ‘Transparent’) which explains why we now have ‘The Danish Girl’ in theaters, directed by Hooper and starring Redmayne as trans pioneer Lili Elbe. At least one trans woman has already pointed out how this film, like ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ before it, has scenes that could have been lifted from porn (not the best place to find versimilitude) but also how the script forces Elbe into the “tragic degenerate” trope, just like queer characters invariably were in the bad old days.

‘The Great Beauty’ of Little Temptations

Toni Servillo in 'The Great Beauty'

‘The Great Beauty’ (‘La Grande Belleza’ in its native Italy)–winner of Best Foreign Language Film at The Golden Globes (and nominated in the same category for an Academy Award)–could easily have been an example of what the great film critic Pauline Kael called “The Come-Dressed-As-the-Sick-Soul-of-Europe Parties”: European films in which very wealthy, attractive people are depressed in spite of their beautiful homes, expensive clothes, and jet-set lifestyles. These films, especially to contemporary audiences, can seem like at any moment they will cross the line into parody, with one of the characters spoofing an old Weill/Brecht tune, “Oh no, not another opulent location! Oh no, not another expensive, tailored suit! Oh no, not more sex with gorgeous, unhappy people!”