A Fantastic Woman (2017)

A Fantastic Woman (Spanish: Una mujer fantástica) is the foreign language nominee I was interested in seeing the most, mainly because it was the only one I knew something about, and, even though I haven't seen Sebastián Lelio's Gloria, I had pretty high expectations for this. 

The film is set in Santiago, Chile, and follows Marina (Daniela Vega), a transgender waitress who is in a relationship with an older man, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). When Orlando suddenly dies, her life becomes a nightmare. While Orlando's family attacks her, both verbally and physically, all the time and even ban her from attending the funeral. As if being harassed by Orlando's family wasn't enough, she also becomes the subject of the investigation of Orlando's death.

It's a very interesting story and definitely has a lot of potential but, in my opinion, Lelio approached it in the wrong way. The story just didn't engage nor interest me that much. It was quite boring, to be honest, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. 

In spite of that, A Fantastic Woman still manages to be a good portrait of a transgender woman who must deal with all the hate and intolerance from society while already suffering for the lost of the man she loved. Marina is a woman who is fighting to be accepted for the choices she made but who, at the same time, has doubts about herself, a woman who just wants to honour the loss of the man she loved. A woman who wants others to understand that she doesn't want special rights, she wants equal rights. She just wants to be treated like a human being, with decency and respect. 

Sony Pictures Classics
The performance of Daniela Vega is pretty good as well. She has a quite complex character to deliver and she does fantastic. She delivers Marina's pain and struggles so well, even though she has the same facial expression most of the running time.

The thing with A Fantastic Woman though is that it doesn't break any new ground. I'm sure the LGBT themes in this film are new to Chilean cinema but they have been treated and explored many and many ways before by other (North) American movies. Also, I would have liked the relationship between Marina and Orlando explored a little more. 

I have to give the film credits for having a beautiful cinematography and for the camera that couldn't have captured Vega's face better. 


  1. My indie theater just got this and I hope I can find the time to see it.

  2. This does sound like an interesting film and I hope to see it one day

  3. I really want to see this as I hope it comes on TV later this year as I really did like Gloria.