When slaughterhouse workers Endre and Mária discover they share the same dreams - where they meet in a forest as deer and fall in love - they decide to make their dreams come true but it's difficult in real life.
While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.
Somewhere in Santiago at a dimly-lit nightclub, Orlando, the kindly and well-off owner of a textile company, locks eyes with Marina, a hopeful singer and the roughly half-his-age love of his life. But, unfortunately, after Marina's birthday celebration and a night of passion, Orlando falls gravely ill--and by the following morning--he dies in hospital. In the wake of her companion's untimely death, Marina will soon realise that, from now on, everything is brought into question: her involvement in Orlando's death, their unconventional relationship; and above all, her right to mourn her beloved deceased. In the end, what was Marina's crime; a deed so hideous that would rob a fantastic woman of her respect, her dignity, and ultimately, her identity?Written by
"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
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