Trailer Talk: The Danish Girl and The It Girl Effect

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Trailer Talk is a discussion about recently released trailers. Expect wild predictions that will most likely make me look foolish when the movie comes out.

The Danish Girl

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Director: Tom Hopper

Release Date: November 27th 2015

I don’t care if this movie ends up being the worst movie of all time, it’s probably going to get at minimum an Oscar nod (and if its halfway acceptable likely multiple wins). The trailer has everything the academy has traditionally loved in its winners.

  • An emotional love story – Check
  • A character that is discriminated for being different or being a minority – Check
  • Said character battling the odds against said issue and turning it into a strength – Check

History shows a familiar trend: From Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind to more recent films like The Theory of Everything or Silver Linings Playbook – the academy has time and time again shown love to these types of stories.

Add to the fact that Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox have been spearheading transsexual awareness and acceptance into the public eye; suddenly the Danish Girl looks like an instant contender.

I hope The Danish Girl turns out to be a great film in which case multiple awards should be handed out to those involved. However I have concerns that the academy will give nominations even in the event of the Danish Girl turns out to be a bad or mediocre film.

Perhaps this stems from voters fearing backlash as being anti (insert social issue tackled in movie here) but sometimes I feel like critics and by extension the academy feel obligated to give films like these mass acclaim and awards.

Take last year’s Theory of Everything; despite having lower IMDB, Metacritic and Rotten Tomato (both critic and user score) ratings it got the best picture nod over Nightcrawler. Why? The logic behind the decision will probably never be openly revealed but it’s hard not to draw at least a causal correlation here. After all no one will judge you for not liking a movie about a creepy stalker type guy – they are supposed to be disliked but people will get on you for not liking a movie about a brilliant man with ALS (“Do you have something against handicapped people?!”)

Note: I personally liked The Theory of Everything it was fine but I agree with the scores Nightcrawler was the better movie.

I have in the past dubbed this phenomenon as “the handicap card” but because issues like homo/trans sexuality are not disabilities (rather just individual preferences that have not been accepted by wider society like they should be) I have changed it to “the It Girl Effect”

“The It Girl Effect” occurs when people get obsessed about certain qualities of a person or thing that they overlook the wider purpose/ overlook other more deserving things.

An example of this is Megan Fox circa 2007 or Jessica Alba circa 2005. People everywhere were so into the physical beauty of these two (mostly men from 16-50) that they overlooked the fact that Fantastic Four and the Transformers franchise were terrible movies (We gave these movies sequels!!- MULTIPLE sequels). Their attractiveness led mass groups to ignore the fact that both Alba and Fox are by in large terrible actors therefore studios kept giving them roles. At its peak Alba got Good Luck Chuck made – which to date remains one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

Similarly “The It Girl Effect” occurs whenever a film gets recognition over a more deserving film simply due to the nature of the topic dealt with in the movie. Look I get it, different people have different opinions and snubs happen but I’d hate it if a superior film got overlooked in favor of another just because people feel the need to be politically correct.

The best in the field should get the proper recognition and hopefully that’s the case here, if historic trends continue however I foresee another gold statue in Eddie Redmayne’s future as long as the movie is even passable in quality.

Nate Lam
Nate Lam
Editor-in-chief of Before The Cyborgs. Part-time filmmaker and occasional short story author. One day he hopes to be as cool as Bill Murray.



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