Sunday, April 22, 2018
Things To Do

Review: Eddie Redmayne delivers stellar performance in 'Danish Girl'

Caitlyn Jenner's coming out lends relevance to The Danish Girl, in addition to hindsight admiration. Jenner's journey to herself was forged by women like Lili Elbe, in times even more difficult for transgender people, like the 1920s. Lili is a reason Caitlyn and others like her breathe easier now.

The timing of telling Lili's story isn't lost on Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), who invests each frame of The Danish Girl with pristine importance. Hooper is a filmmaker whose signature is someone else's work: set designers and costumers duplicating eras for cameras to caress.

Give him a morally superior tale like Lili's and Hooper will build a perfect beast of period decor. Then it's all up to whoever is before the camera. Colin Firth as a stuttering monarch? Great. Russell Crowe singing faux opera? Not so much.

Fortunately, Hooper has a pair of extraordinary actors on which to hang The Danish Girl, two of the finest performances of women this year. Not "by" women — performances of women, the grandest by Eddie Redmayne as Lili and her lifelong male alter ego, landscape artist Einar Wegener.

The other belongs to Alicia Vikander as Einar's wife and Lili's confidante Gerda, whose confusion and compassion pours from this rising actor's face. Gerda is also an artist, whose portraits aren't selling so even that sliver of empowerment slips away as Lili emerges. Vikander subtly distills Gerda's roiling emotions, as each are tempted, stray and yet continue to lean on each other.

Redmayne and Vikander's mutual contributions to Hooper's museum settings and docent pacing are invaluable. Einar and Gerda are a touching love story; Lili and Gerda two sides of the same repressed feminine coin. Few pairings this year are so emotionally dynamic, so many things able to go right or wrong.

Redmayne is uncanny in his dual role, especially in those moments between his gender extremes, when Einar is curious about women, what they wear, how they move. The erotic liberation of a peep show when Einar mimics the model, or when he first slips on stockings is made palpable by Redmayne, his gentle, freckled features practically glowing.

Lili's lasting contribution to gender politics is that she was among the first reported patients undergoing gender reassignment surgery. The facts deny viewers of much information after that decision is made, forcing an abrupt conclusion. Handsome as always but unsatisfactory.

To be fair, that wan ending isn't entirely Hooper's fault. Blame is shared by facts that transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner and supporters continue to change. Too late for Lili, not others.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

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Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Published: 04/21/18
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Published: 04/21/18
Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

LOS ANGELES — Actor Verne Troyer from the Austin Powers movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s spokesperson that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday. No cause or place of...
Published: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by country artist...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

NightstandLee GoldbergGoldberg, the author of 30 books, has also been a writer and producer for several TV shows, including Monk and Diagnosis Murder. His new novel is True Fiction, an Ian Ludlow mystery. When we caught up with him by phone recently ...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

Here's all you need to know about this decade's explosion of electronic dance music in America.In September of 2011, Swedish DJ Avicii played a late-night show at a nightclub on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.By June of the following year, he was headli...
Published: 04/20/18
Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

The campy gem known as Reefer Madness is screening at 10:30 p.m. tonight at the history Tampa Theatre, a perfect bit of programming on 420 Day. Today's day is 4/20 and it has beeen adopted in some circles as Weed Day because of the numeral code used ...
Published: 04/20/18
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Published: 04/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy sees a down-and-out producer and his accountant scheme to produce the most notorious flop in theater history. Through May 13. 8 p.m., Demens Landing, 100 First Ave. SE, St. Pe...
Published: 04/20/18