A Fantastic Woman
|A Fantastic Woman|
|Spanish||Una mujer fantástica|
|Directed by||Sebastián Lelio|
|Edited by||Soledad Salfate|
|Music by||Matthew Herbert|
|Box office||$3.7 million|
A Fantastic Woman (Spanish: Una mujer fantástica) is a 2017 drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio, written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, produced by Juan de Dios and Pablo Larraín and starring Daniela Vega and Francisco Reyes. It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. It was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film where it won in the 90th Academy Awards.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2022)
Marina is a young transgender woman living in Santiago, Chile, who works as a singer and a waitress. She is taken to dinner by her boyfriend, Orlando, an older man with whom she has recently moved in. He gives her the birthday gift of a note promising tickets to a famous resort because he has mislaid the actual tickets before or after visiting the sauna. That night, Orlando wakes up in a daze and complains he does not feel right. As Marina prepares to take him to the hospital, he stumbles down a flight of stairs. After driving Orlando to the hospital and checking him in, she is told by a doctor that Orlando has died of a brain aneurysm. She leaves the hospital in despair and calls Orlando's brother, Gabo. She is then picked up by police, who drive her back and demand an explanation for why she left so suddenly. They also check her (old) ID card and thereafter call her 'sir'. The brother arrives and speaks to her with enough familiarity to convince the police officers of her innocence and lets her take Orlando's car home.
Marina is contacted by Sonia, Orlando's ex-wife, and they arrange a time for Marina to drop off Orlando's car. While working, Marina is visited by a detective. The detective, Adriana, reveals she works in solving crimes that include sexual assault, and was concerned by the bruises Orlando suffered during his fall. She also suggests Orlando was paying Marina as a sex worker rather than that they had a regular relationship. The detective thinks, as a sex worker who is transgender, Marina may have been beaten up by Orlando and in defending herself she caused his injuries. (To prove this did not happen, the following day Marina reports to the police station and is photographed nude to prove that there was no violent exchange between them on the night of Orlando's death.)
Marina returns to the flat she shared with Orlando and is comforted by the Alsatian dog, Diabla. Bruno, Orlando's son, arrives and questions Marina using the name Marissa. He decides to take the dog despite Marina's protestations. He asks personal questions about which surgery she has had, then harasses her.
After he has gone, Marina takes the car to be washed. She 'sees' Orlando and is disturbed. Then she drives the car to the car park, as instructed, and waits for Sonia. When Sonia arrives she checks over the car and becomes upset. She asks Marina to hand over the flat as soon as she can. Marina apologises but Sonia takes this to be for the 'whole soap opera', and says she thinks what happened between her ex and Marina was 'perverted'. She tells Marina not to go to the funeral.
Gabo rings and tells Marina that Orlando will be cremated and he wants her to have some of the ashes. She goes to see her singing teacher who wonders if she is there to learn opera or for moral support...
Marina prepares to move out of Orlando's apartment. She rings a local textile company saying she wants a wreath and thus discovers where the wake is being held. Her sister, Wanda, and partner, Gaston, greet her affectionately, and drive her from the flat. She tells them about Orlando's son coming into the flat uninvited and they suggest she tell the police, but she wants nothing to do with the police. Marina gets out of the car early without her luggage.
Marina attends Orlando's wake. Upon her arrival, Sonia stops the service and demands that Marina leave. On her way out, Gabo follows and apologizes to her. She is later accosted by Bruno and his friends from a car. His friends grab her and force her into the car. They threaten her and wrap her face in scotch tape, leaving her in an alleyway. Scared and alone, Marina then walks to a gay club where she meets a man, dances with him, and fools around with him. She thinks she sees Orlando again. Later she stays with Wanda and Gastón.
The next morning, Marina discovers the details of Orlando's funeral in the newspaper. Wanda and Gastón warn her to let it go, and Marina says she will not attend. At work she serves a customer with a numbered key similar to one Orlando left her. She asks what it belongs to and the man says his sauna.
She visits the sauna nervously and books in. Wearing a towel and sweating profusely she locates the lockers and opens Orlando's, but it is empty.
She goes to the funeral home after the ceremony has taken place. Entering the graveyard, she is confronted by Orlando's family who are leaving in their car. When they insult her, she climbs on top of the car and yells angrily that she wants her dog back. Stunned, they drive away. Following an employee into the morgue, she is able to see Orlando's body and say goodbye to him before his cremation.
Later, Marina is seen taking a run with Diabla. In the last scene, she sings an opera recital to a packed auditorium.
- Daniela Vega as Marina Vidal
- Francisco Reyes as Orlando Onetto Partier
- Luis Gnecco as Gabriel Onetto Partier
- Aline Küppenheim as Sonia Bunster
- Amparo Noguera as Adriana Cortés
- Nicolás Saavedra as Bruno Onetto Bunster
- Antonia Zegers as Alessandra
- Trinidad González as Wanda Vidal
- Néstor Cantillana as Gastón
- Alejandro Goic as Doctor
- Sergio Hernández as piano teacher
- Roberto Farías as medic in SML
- Marcial Tagle as Orlando's relative
- Pablo Cerda as Pablo
- Erto Pantoja as police man
- Paola Lattus as nurse
A Fantastic Woman premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival on 12 February 2017 where the movie won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay and the Teddy Award, an award given to films with a LGBT theme. Two days earlier, the film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.
The film holds a 94% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 8.10/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Subtle and tender, A Fantastic Woman handles its timely, sensitive subject matter with care." It holds a score of 86 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 43 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
A Fantastic Woman's Oscar win was used by Chilean LBGTQ activists to accelerate local discussions on a gender identity bill. Chile subsequently approved laws for transgender citizens to change their official details in late 2018.
A Fantastic Woman received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, and became the first Chilean film to win the award in this category. It was the second Chilean film to win an Oscar, after Bear Story in 2016.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result||Ref.|
|Academy Awards||4 March 2018||Best Foreign Language Film||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Ariel Awards||5 June 2018||Best Ibero-American Film||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Belgian Film Critics Association||7 January 2018||Grand Prix||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|||
|Berlin International Film Festival||18 February 2017||Teddy Award – Best Feature Film||Sebastián Lelio||Won|||
|Silver Bear for Best Screenplay||Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza||Won|||
|Golden Bear||Sebastián Lelio||Nominated|
|Cabourg Film Festival||18 June 2017||Grand Jury Prize||Sebastián Lelio||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||11 January 2018||Best Foreign Language Film||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|||
|Dorian Awards||31 January 2018||Best Foreign Language Film||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|||
|Best Actress||Daniela Vega||Nominated|
|Best LGBTQ Film||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|
|Best Rising Star||Daniela Vega||Nominated|
|GLAAD Media Awards||12 April 2018||Outstanding Film – Limited Release||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Golden Globe Award||7 January 2018||Best Foreign Language Film||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|||
|Goya Awards||3 February 2018||Best Iberoamerican Film||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Havana Film Festival||15 December 2017||Special Jury Prize||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Best Actress||Daniela Vega||Won|
|Unete- United Nations Prize||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Independent Spirit Awards||3 March 2018||Best International Film||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|National Board of Review||28 November 2017||Top Five Foreign Language Films||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||13 January 2018||Honorable Mention Cine Latino Jury||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film||Daniela Vega||Won|
|Platino Awards||29 April 2018||Best Film||A Fantastic Woman||Won|||
|Best Director||Sebastián Lelio||Won|
|Best Actress||Daniela Vega||Won|
|Best Screenplay||Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza||Won|
|Best Film Editing||Soledad Salfate||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Benjamín Echazarreta||Nominated|
|Best Art Direction||Estefanía Larraín||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Tina Laschke||Nominated|
|Film and Education Values||A Fantastic Woman||Nominated|
- List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Chilean submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
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