Fresh off his Oscar for Best Actor for playing Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne is taking on another real-life character who helped change the world in The Danish Girl. The film tells the story of Lili Elbe, the Danish artist who became one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery, and the movie’s dazzling first trailer fleshes out the unlikely story behind Elbe’s transformation from Einar to Lili.
Alicia Vikander—in a role that looks like the crowning achievement of her breakout year—plays Elbe’s wife Gerda, an artist who one day asks her husband to stand in for a female model. After the paintings become popular, Einar begins to pose as a woman regularly, awakening the realization that she’s been a woman all along. The film then charts Elbe’s brave decision to transition into a woman, in an era when such a thing was inconceivable. And although The Danish Girl is set in the 1920s, it could not be more relevant than it is right now.
The Danish Girl hits theaters on November 27.