A Fantastic Woman



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 15427


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May 16, 2018 at 09:02 PM


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886.74 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
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1.66 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 2 / 63

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mel_bear 9 / 10

A classy one woman show with a great supporting cast

Knowing a little of the story before hand I was not holding great hopes for this evening's cinema excursion. However, I was most pleasantly surprised from the opening music which lead us the steamy interior of the sauna where slowly, in the background, naked bodies could be seen imerging from the low lit darkness. Indeed one of the beauties of the film is the wonderful camera work. The shot in the elevator was worth the price of the ticket alone. Daniela Varga is a great actress and has to hold the audience's attention as she appears in almost every scene. She certainly held me in the palm of her hand and I had difficulty not taking my eyes off her. Daniela further exploited her talents by doing her own singing. The acting was superb from all the supporting cast but it was Daniela's film, with the help of Sebastian Lelio, of course.

Reviewed by proud_luddite 7 / 10

Vega stands out

Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega) is a transgender woman and aspiring singer in her twenties and living in Santiago, Chile. After the death of her lover, a man in his fifties with an ex-wife and an adult son, Marina is left alone in dealing with her grief and the aftermath of the death.

In addition to the burden of grief, Marina must also deal with humiliating and prejudicial situations around her transgender status. She subtly shows an attitude of "I hate having to go through this again but I can." Interestingly, her transgender status is used to her advantage in a later scene in the film.

Vega is in nearly every scene of the film and must carry it on her shoulders. She does the job superbly. She ably conveys awkwardness and vulnerability as her character attempts to maintain what is rightfully hers while being aware that many battles may not be won.

Much of the film follows Marina as she journeys through the city's urban atmosphere to numb her pain. The last quarter of the film takes a different twist that is less interesting than what precedes it. But "A Fantastic Woman" is a good film overall mainly due to the subtle skills of its lead performer.

Reviewed by Sam Cannon 7 / 10

Moving, Confronting, but not without its flaws

A Fantastic Woman is a very simple film, far more simple than it initially appears. Essentially the story boils down to this: A transgender woman has to deal with the family of her lover after his sudden and unexpected death. The film deals with themes of transphobia and grief, and it explores those particular themes very well, in some very confronting and uncomfortable ways, but from a story and character perspective, this film often leaves a lot to be desired.

Marina, the titular 'Fantastic Woman', is defined purely by the fact that she's transgender. This isn't a big flaw per se, as the film is explicitly about how the culture of Chile and the world at large responds to that fact, but she doesn't really have much character besides that. She's a singer, she boxes, and she's very driven to get what she wants, despite the high amounts of adversity she faces throughout the film. The driving force of her character is her desire to pay her respects to her dead boyfriend one last time, while his family refuses to give her that, seeing her as a shameful part of his final moments, best forgotten. She isn't given that much development besides that, and it leaves us with a very one, maybe two-dimensional character with no real flaws that have consequences within the story.

However the main issue I have with the film is that it basically abandons several plot threads as it goes along. Early in the film, there is some suspicion of foul play surrounding the boyfriend's death and she, being the last person to be with him, is the prime suspect. However this is mostly abandoned after one particularly uncomfortable scene where she is forced to have a physical examination by the detective and a doctor, which after its conclusion is basically hand waved away without much further thought. It is not brought up again (to my recollection) as to whether she is still seen as somehow complicit in her boyfriend's death, or whether the police decided to abandon the case altogether.

Another plot thread that seemed to be abandoned is the entire opening scene, where it establishes the couple's relationship before the man dies, where he mentions buying tickets to see a famous waterfall in 10 days time, but has misplaced the tickets. To my memory, she never finds the tickets or goes to the waterfall to do anything after the conclusion of the movie. It just seems like another missed opportunity for further development.

I do want to make clear though, that I do think this film is still worth watching. Transgender characters are still relatively rare in film and television, and even when they do pop up every now and then, they are often portrayed by non-transgender actors in heavy makeup. However Daniela Vega is herself transgender, and she plays the role, limited as it is, incredibly well. The cinematography is also quite beautiful, and there are several visual setpieces that looked great (while not really serving much purpose to the plot) It's definitely something worth watching on the big screen, but I probably won't put it on for a second time.

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