Eddie Redmayne. Courtesy of Focus Features.
Eddie Redmayne. Courtesy of Focus Features.

Several of the best period dramas in this year’s Oscars race focus on women bridling at the constraints of their time. InCarol,out November 20, 19-year-old Therese (Rooney Mara) finds herself drawn to an older sophisticate (Cate Blanchett) in 1950s New York—a love that is not only taboo but downright dangerous. InThe Assassin,out October 16, a slow-burn martialarts picture set in Tang dynasty China, a female contract killer (Shu Qi) must choose between her family and her job. InSuffragette,out October 23, a young woman (Carey Mulligan) jumps into the fight for voting rights in early-20th-century England. AndThe Danish Girl,out November 27, tells the story of the transgender pioneer Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne), an artist in 1920s Copenhagen whose loving union with his wife (Alicia Vikander) is tested by his need to identify as a woman. How timely is that?