This is a woman who loves her husband totally, but also understands their need to be accepted as a woman. These are two of the best performances you will see this year, and they complement each other beautifully.
If the filmmakers had taken enough time to get to know real transgender people prior to making this film, the depiction of Lili would have been one of a lucid, reasonable person trying to live honestly to herself in the midst of a world that wants to interpret and label her as crazy.
Sometimes with pen or pencil in hand, other times with a full palette of acrylic or watercolors, Hooper adds connections or isolating areas to accent characters and objects with little or no preconception or plan -- something like the way a jamming jazz musician riffs or a butterfly flies.
As to the DGA awards, Hooper joins Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee, and Ben Affleck for this honor. Omitted were Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and most serious, a favorite: David O. Russell.
One Oscar Les Miserables won't be nominated for is "Best Original Musical." Wait a minute, you're thinking, that's crazy talk -- there's no category called "Best Original Musical." As a matter of fact, there is such a category, but it's just never been activated.
I had always thought of Les Misérables as something that was (A) kind of complicated, (B) beloved by a lot of people and (C) impossible for me to catch up on at this point in my life. It would be like deciding all of a sudden, "You know, maybe it's time I took up polo."