Image caption: Daniela Vega in A Fantastic Woman
Winner of the 2018 Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language Film
A FANTASTIC WOMAN
Directed by Sebastián Lelio | In Spanish with English subtitles
Starring Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco
104 min | Drama | 2018
About the Film
Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her, and owns a printing company. After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando’s ex-wife forbid her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando’s son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.
In this exquisitely compassionate portrait of a trans woman whose mourning for a lost lover is obstructed at every turn by individual and institutional prejudice, [director Sebastián] Lelio has crafted perhaps the most resonant and empathetic screen testament to the everyday obstacles of transgender existence since Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry in 1999.
—Guy Lodge, Variety
At the core of this indelibly moving film…is a performance of surpassing beauty and tenderness. Daniela Vega is the first openly transgender actress and model in Chile, and her portrayal of Marina Vidal, a trans woman who works as a waitress in Santiago to support her career as a cabaret singer, signals her as a world-class talent.
—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone