3 February 2018 | bastille-852-731547
Grim but Important Chilean Drama
"A Fantastic Woman" is Chile's submission to the Academy Awards for the category of Best Foreign Film. The film tells the story of a transgender woman, Marina, who is suddenly cast into a state of mourning after her older boyfriend Orlando died suddenly and unexpectedly. She must confront and come to terms with Orlando's immediate and extended family members as well, who are just as shocked by the tragic loss as she is but generally unaccepting of her gender identity.
Sebastian Lelio delivers a well-directed film that makes good usage of simple but exquisite technical and editing tactics. The acting in the film is quite strong throughout, and the script is also well-written. Daniela Varga's lead performance is excellent, as she portrays Marina with a genuine sense of melancholy. She is able to enable the audience to feel a deep-seated, full-throated sense of empathy as well--one which we can only wish the characters she interacts with during the film's duration could have towards her in return. The tone on display in the film is somber and very bleak, but distinctly and genuinely rooted in reality. Such tone is supported--and exacerbated (in a good way)--by the simple score and aesthetic qualities we see. The chronology of the film's narrative is rather bizarre, as is the juxtaposition of some scenes and brief interludes. Otherwise, this is a generally well-made film. 7/10