Chile; Directed by Sebastián Lelio

Director: Sebastián Lelio
Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Sebastián Lelio, and Gonzalo Maza
Writers: Sebastián Lelio & Gonzalo Maza
Editor: Soledad Salfate
Composer: Matthew Herbert
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: September 1, 2017 (Telluride)
Run-time: 104 minutes

FILM SYNOPSIS: Marina, a twentysomething waitress and aspiring singer, is in a loving relationship with older partner Orlando despite the difference in their ages. When Orlando unexpectedly dies, Marina, who is transgender, faces discrimination and hostility from both Orlando’s family and government officials while also contending with her devastating grief.

Actress Daniela Vega is an openly trans actress from Chile. Believe it or not, “A Fantastic Woman” is only her second performance as an actress as she was previously a hairdresser and singer. Now, she is being touted as one of the best performances of the year and I believe if that Best Actress in a Leading Role category wasn’t severely stacked already, Vega could have easily landed an Oscar nomination. Instead, the film is only nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature but at the moment it is riding its buzz as the front-runner. Chile, itself, has only ever been nominated once a few years ago for the film “No” starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal.

In “A Fantastic Woman,” Vega plays a trans woman dating a much older man. The older man, however, unexpectedly dies, leaving Vega to fend off the man’s family and ex-wife, who want her out of their life as soon as possible. The drama comes when they take her dog and tell her she cannot attend the wake or funeral, despite them having been intimately involved with Vega even in the process of moving in with him before he dies. The film is mostly a drama but does delve into some surreal elements like a huge windstorm and a fantasy dance montage. The film is timely and elevates the LBGTQ community to the public eye, so for that I am sure it will get some votes. Personally, my favorite foreign film so far is “On Body And Soul.” But if any film is going to give “A Fantastic Woman” a run for its money, it will likely be “The Square,” which was hugely popular with the national critics and has the star power to really grab people’s attentions. However, I would certainly not be surprised to see this one win.


2012 (85th) “No” Nominated Best Foreign Language Feature


VIEWED: Monday
February 12th, 2018



Films Left Days Left

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