The Danish Girl is a biographical romantic drama film directed by Tom Hooper , based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff , and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film was screened in the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival ,   and it was shown in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film received some criticism for its inaccurate portrayal of historical events, but Redmayne and Vikander's performances received widespread acclaim and nominations for all of the major acting awards. In mids Copenhagen, portrait artist Gerda Wegener asks her husband, popular landscape artist Einar Wegener , to stand in for a female model who is late to come to their flat to pose for a painting she's working on. The act of posing as a female figure unmasks Einar's life-long identification as a woman, who names herself Lili Elbe.