Sometimes one sits to watch a movie and becomes totally riveted to the screen unaware of time and place. The Danish Girl was such a movie for me.

   This film is a work of art in all areas. The photography is beautiful, acting superb by all the actors and a controversial subject handled with respect and dignity.

   I could not help but wonder if it is because it is Christmas week that the theater had fewer than a dozen people in attendance or if it was the subject of the film that kept people away. This is a tender portrayal of a young man and his struggle and painful journey of embracing the realization that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.

   Bravos to actors Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Lasse Hallstrom.

   If for no other reason, this film should be seen just for the incredible art piece that it is.

   I saw the movie “Brooklyn” and it caught me off guard because it stirred within me emotions and memories of stories I had heard from my grand parents about their journey from their mother country to find  new lives in The United States and it left me with a mix of heartfelt sad and joyous emotions.

   This movie presents a simple story of a young woman that leaves her home and family in Ireland to find a better more meaningful life in the United States. Through the help of contacts at a Catholic church in Brooklyn she finds herself settled there and faces the challenges of a job, new friends and the cultural differences that confront her. This process proves painfully hard and adds to her already heavy feelings of missing her family and home.

  Then her life turns around when she meets a boy and from this point forward you see her change and mature as she wanders along a path of many twists and turns in her life and finally faces the struggles of choosing between going  back home and abandoning her newly found life.

   This tender, sweet and very well acted movie really captured for me the extremely difficult emotional and physical tolls my grandparents and thousands of others like them felt  when they left all they knew and loved and had the courage to face the unknown in search of a better future.