‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a brilliant foreign film


Francisco Reyes and Daniela Vega star in “A Fantastic Woman.” Sony Pictures Classics website photo.

Landmark Chilean film “A Fantastic Woman” brings a refreshing look at romantic dramas.

Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega), a transgender woman, is a singer and waitress who has recently moved in with her partner, Orlando Onetto (Francisco Reyes). When Orlando dies one night, Marina must overcome obstacles as she faces false accusations and discrimination, all while mourning the loss of her loved one.

Directed by Sebastian Lelio, “A Fantastic Woman” displays Vega’s exceptional performance as Vidal.

Very rarely do we see transgender people represented in film, especially in romances. Most romances are usually run-of-the-mill, carbon copies of each other, and most romances involve a male and a female.

In “A Fantastic Woman,” not only do we see a romance involving a transgender woman but the audience sees the prejudices many people hold against transgender people.

What makes “A Fantastic Woman” noteworthy is not that it offers representation for the transgender community, though that is important in of itself, but that Vega executes her role well.

Vega is a Chilean transgender woman who offers a genuine and sincere performance in Vidal.

Vega’s performance of Vidal truly captured a mournful lover as sorrow over the death of her significant other consumes her. At the same time, Vidal’s character captures the emotional turmoil a person who is transgender may endure due to preexisting prejudices that others may feel.

It is no lie that social stigmas of transgender people and people of the LGBTQ community are still present. It is still difficult for many people to come out and be themselves when they know they will face ridicule and experience discrimination.

However, in Vidal’s character, she embraces her identity and transcends traditional gender roles.

Vidal is a very empowering character with a well-written character arc.

The narrative of this film also very well written; the pacing of the plot story flowed smoothly and there was never a dull moment in this film.

“A Fantastic Woman” delivers a very heartfelt and sincere story. Even the most melancholic and intimate scenes could tug the heartstrings of the coldest hearts.

It is an understatement to say that “A Fantastic Woman” is another “run-of-the-mill” romance.

With an excellent narrative and a brilliant performance from Vega, it is no wonder that this Chilean film won Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.