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Alicia Vikander wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 'The Danish Girl' after a breakout year

Vikander portrayed Gerda Wegener, the wife of transgender woman Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne), in the film. Vikander also appeared this year in such films as 'Testament of Youth' and 'Ex Machina,' with the latter also winning her awards season acclaim.

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    Alicia Vikander stars in 'The Danish Girl.'
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Alicia Vikander has won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the film “The Danish Girl.” 

Ms. Vikander, who also recently won acclaim this year for such movies as “Ex Machina” and “Testament of Youth,” played the role of Gerda Wegener, wife of Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne). Lili is believed to have been one of the first people to go through gender reassignment surgery.

This was the actress’s first Oscar nomination. She had already won such prizes as the Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actress for her role in “Danish.”

"I want to thank... Eddie, there you are," Vikander said during her acceptance speech, speaking of her co-star, Redmayne. "Thank you for being the best acting partner. I couldn't have done it without you. You raised my game."

Monitor film critic Peter Rainer noted that the film depiction of the story of Lili arrived at an interesting point in American culture. 

“It’s a sign of the cultural shift that a movie about a transgender woman who undergoes gender reassignment surgery should today seem less than an eye-opener after Caitlyn Jenner and Jeffrey Tambor in Amazon’s ‘Transparent,’ ” Mr. Rainer wrote. 

While the movie itself got a mixed reception from critics, many praised Vikander's performance.

"Vikander, who has delivered some astonishing performances this year in 'Ex Machina' and 'Testament of Youth,' is once again a revelation as a woman supporting the person she loves in wholly unchartered societal waters," Associated Press writer Lindsey Bahr wrote of the actress.

Vikander herself said the story is about the couple rather than just Lili.

“It’s about them going through a transition, not just him,” she said of the film in an interview with the Guardian. “In any relationship, when you go through any big change, you struggle to find your new constellation, your new ground. It takes a while to determine what the new relationship between you is. I could relate to that. That got to me immediately.”

The actress also spoke in an interview with Deadline about how much she admired her character in the film.

“I looked up to her so much for the capacity of loving she has,” Vikander said. “I think I’m a big romantic, and she never seems passive to me. She always had such a force. Sometimes when people are just giving and loving and caring and supporting, people can question not being active, but she always sees a bigger picture, and she knows where she is in that.”

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