With all of the amazing films that were released in 2017, this one may have missed your radar — but it shouldn’t have. “A Fantastic Woman” is a powerhouse of a film, with fantastical and powerful moments that stunned audiences and festival panels. It stars Daniela Vega as Marina, a waitress and singer with a much older partner named Orlando. When Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, her world is turned on end as she tries to discover who she really is, all while confronting his family’s and society’s judgements and expectations. Tackling grief, family, perspective, control, and identity — this film takes on universal themes in a unique way.
And the movie was met with huge praise, both from audiences and critics. ““A Fantastic Woman’ is at once a straightforward story of self-assertion and defiance and a complex study of the nuances of identity,” the New York Times explains. “… Psychologically astute and socially aware as the film is, it is also infused with mystery and melodrama, with bright colors and emotional shadows. Almodóvarian and Buñuelian grace notes adorn its matter-of-fact melody, and its surface modesty camouflages an unruly, extravagant spirit. You may not realize until the very end that you have been gazing at the portrait of an artist in the throes of self-creation.” That’s some pretty high praise, but this film is worth it.
To get a sense of it, you can see the whole trailer here:
It’s easy to see why this original and moving film would be a festival favorite. Vega’s performance was rightly celebrated and director Sebastián Lelio delivers on a film that manages to feel both unique and totally relatable. If you missed it on its release, make sure to take the time to find it now. It’s a one of a kind film that, from script to screen, is executed perfectly.