Chile, 2017, 104 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Sebastián Lelio, Spanish with English subtitles, Sony Pictures Classics
“It’s a fantastic movie. Daniela Vega, the star, is fantastic in it. Quote me in the ads, with exclamation points if you must.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
The otherwise conventional Orlando has left his wife and kids for Marina (Daniela Vega), a passionate transgender person and much younger waitress-singer. After his sudden, unexpected death, Marina faces the suspicions of the police, the angry incomprehension of Orlando’s family and the discovery she’ll be denied the usual privileges of a grieving loved-one and life partner. On one level, writer-director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) creates a vivid depiction of the petty injustices and prejudices that outsiders face in any society. But Lelio’s masterful tonal control and the intensity of Vega’s presence create something more universal: a lyrical melodrama about coping with the loss of love. A Fantastic Woman is Chile’s nominee at the Academy Awards.