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A Fantastic Woman - Film Review

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by Jody Kimber (subscribe)
Freelance writing. Out of the urban clutter of the East and now situated on the Pittwater.
Published February 19th 2018

A Fantastic Woman is an awesome Chilean movie by co-writer and director Sebastián Lelio. Sebastian Lelio explains what this exquisitely gentle challenging movie presents to us - "What happens" he says "if the love of your life dies in your arms, yet your arms may not be the right arms to die in?" ('A Fantastic Woman': The Story Behind the Oscar-Nominated Transgender Drama by Tim Grierson


The love between Marina (Daniella Vega) and Orlando (Francisco Reyes) is genuine and plans begin to be made for the future. Marina has a waitressing job, yet her vocation is singing. She has an elegant and beautiful voice. Her life is beginning and she is becoming the woman she aspires to be.

Then Marina has a birthday. Orlando becomes ill and is rushed to hospital. Suddenly he is dead. A detective arrives and Marina is questioned. Was she involved in his death? Some of Orlando's' family are unhappy to see his lover. They don't wish her presence at his funeral. Marina just wants to say goodbye to the man she loved and who loved her.


Marina (Daniela Vega) is a beautiful woman. Being both strong and gentle at once. This is a time that she stands her ground to be who she is. Why is she being rejected? What is it that creates this complex set of events and responses?

Marina fights for her right to say goodbye to her love, no matter what his family think of her. No matter what they say or do, she steps forward into a world that doesn't quite see who she is.

Marina is perplexed by herself too sometimes. There are obvious moments when you see her challenge the perception of others, yet the most moving moments are when she sees herself and is still formulating who she is and whether "she", herself is the woman she wishes to be. Marina is transgender. Marina is "a fantastic woman."

Winning numerous European Foreign film awards and being nominated for many more awards, this is a great Chilean movie. Presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Engaging, perceptive, enigmatic and enthralling, this is an ideal movie for a broad audience. This is not a LGBT audience movie - it is for everyone.

A Fantastic Woman is in Australian cinemas February 22

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by Marjo on 13/02/2018
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