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[personal profile] millionreasons
As it was Christmas recently, I watched several films, all of which had girl in the title although not Gone Girl or The Girl With A Tattoo Who Kicked Nests And Played with Dragons. I saw:-

The Danish Girl

This looked sumptuous and was an endearing story of one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. It was faction rather than fiction due to the loss of information about the case, and also because the film's director wanted to make a love story, even though Gerde, Mrs Danish Girl, was actually a lesbian. I read some criticism that trans characters should be played by trans actors - I would disagree with this for practical reasons (the film was about the actual transitioning and the growing dislike that Einar/Lily had for his body, which was displayed in its full maleness i.e. pre-transitioning). Also, actors do acting: that's their job. Ms Glenda Jackson didn't grow a penis to play King Lear. Eddie Redmayne did not have MD when he played Stephen Hawking. Daniel Day Lewis didn't develop cerebral palsy to play Christy Brown, even though he is known as the method actor's method actor. I am not comparing transgender issues to a disability, but the comparison to cisgendered persons playing transgender persons to blacking up isn't helpful - people can't change their race because they believe they have been born into the wrong body (unless they are Rachel Dolezal).

The Girl On The Train

Not as good as the book although which film is?* What I liked about the book was that the heroine was a fat, red, sweaty, damaged alcoholic who nonetheless solved the crime, and in this film she is the beautiful Emily Blunt. What was more unrealistic was that railside houses in the US are much further away from the tracks than in commuter belt Britain and you'd need bionic vision to spot shenanigans on a balcony. It was rather more difficult to conceal the identity of Megan's lover in a film; as soon as you don't see the face of the shaggee, you know something's up.

* High Fidelity, Brokeback Mountain, The Third Man, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The Girl With All The Gifts

This started out great as you wonder why a group of army types are holding children captive, and then descended into a schlock horror as a "black guy dies first" gang wander through a CGI city on a quest to Doesn't Matter Where, but was saved by the surprise ending, which creeped me out somewhat. It was also good to see a non-London landscape featured on film (in this case the Midlands): we may "have no prairies to slice a big sun at evening" but we have landscape that can be used as Hollywood utilises the deep south or the mid west or Manhattan as an additional character in a movie.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

As if Jim Jarmusch made a feminist vampire film set in Iran. Hang on, Jim Jarmusch did make a vampire film, but it was awful, mainly due to the mis-casting of Tom Hiddleston who is great at being Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager, High Rise), but not great at being a louche bloodsucker. Someone like Jared Leto would have been better in that role. Or maybe an actual vampire. When will vampire actors be cast in vampire roles?
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