A Fantastic Woman

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A Fantastic Woman
A Fantastic Woman.png
Theatrical release poster
SpanishUna mujer fantástica
Directed bySebastián Lelio
Produced by
Written by
  • Sebastián Lelio
  • Gonzalo Maza
Starring
Music byMatthew Herbert
CinematographyBenjamín Echazarreta
Edited bySoledad Salfate
Production
companies
  • Fabula
  • Komplizen Film
Distributed by
Release date
  • 12 February 2017 (2017-02-12) (Berlin)
  • 6 April 2017 (2017-04-06) (Chile)
  • 7 September 2017 (2017-09-07) (Germany)
  • 20 October 2017 (2017-10-20) (Spain)
  • 2 February 2018 (2018-02-02) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes
Countries
  • Chile
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • United States[2]
LanguageSpanish
Box office$3.7 million[3][4]

A Fantastic Woman (Spanish: Una mujer fantástica) is a 2017 drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio, written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza,[5] 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.[6] It was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film where it won in the 90th Academy Awards.[7][8]

Plot[edit]

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 for a date.

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.

(This is when the police photos are taken). 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.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Larraín, Vega, Lelio, Reyes at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival

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.[1]

Reception[edit]

The film currently holds a 94% approval rating on review aggregator 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."[9] It currently holds a score of 86 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 43 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[10]

A Fantastic Woman's Oscar win was utilised by Chilean LBGTQ activists to accelerate local discussions on a gender identity bill.[11] Chile subsequently approved laws for transgender citizens to change their official details in late 2018.[12]

Accolades[edit]

A Fantastic Woman received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards,[8] and became the first Chilean film to win the award in this category.[13] It was the second Chilean film to win an Oscar, after Bear Story in 2016.

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards 4 March 2018 Best Foreign Language Film Chile Won [13]
Ariel Awards 5 June 2018 Best Ibero-American Film A Fantastic Woman Won [14]
Belgian Film Critics Association 7 January 2018 Grand Prix A Fantastic Woman Nominated [15]
Berlin International Film Festival 18 February 2017 Teddy Award – Best Feature Film Sebastián Lelio Won [16]
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza Won [17]
Golden Bear Sebastián Lelio Nominated
Cabourg Film Festival 18 June 2017 Grand Jury Prize Sebastián Lelio Won [18]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards 11 January 2018 Best Foreign Language Film A Fantastic Woman Nominated [19]
Dorian Awards 31 January 2018 Best Foreign Language Film A Fantastic Woman Nominated [20]
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 [21]
Golden Globe Award 7 January 2018 Best Foreign Language Film A Fantastic Woman Nominated [22]
Goya Awards 3 February 2018 Best Iberoamerican Film A Fantastic Woman Won [23]
Havana Film Festival 15 December 2017 Special Jury Prize A Fantastic Woman Won [24]
Best Actress Daniela Vega Won
Unete- United Nations Prize A Fantastic Woman Won [25]
Independent Spirit Awards 3 March 2018 Best International Film A Fantastic Woman Won [26]
National Board of Review 28 November 2017 Top Five Foreign Language Films A Fantastic Woman Won [27]
Palm Springs International Film Festival 13 January 2018[28] Honorable Mention Cine Latino Jury A Fantastic Woman Won [29]
Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film Daniela Vega Won
Platino Awards 29 April 2018 Best Film A Fantastic Woman Won [30]
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hipes, Patrick (9 February 2017). "Sony Classics Picks Up Berlin Competition Pic 'A Fantastic Woman'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Una mujer fantástica". Lumiere. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Una Mujer Fantástica". The Numbers. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  5. ^ Kay, Jeremy (8 March 2016). "'A Fantastic Woman' wraps shoot". Screen Daily. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  6. ^ Press Office (15 December 2016). "Aki Kaurismäki, Oren Moverman, Agnieszka Holland, Andres Veiel, and Sally Potter – First Films for the Competition of the Berlinale 2017". Annual Archives: 2017. Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  7. ^ Bacherbas (11 September 2017). "Los latinos al Óscar 2018: Chile". Premios Óscar Latinos. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Oscars 2018: The list of nominees in full". BBC News. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  9. ^ "A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  10. ^ "A Fantastic Woman Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ Levy, Nicolás (7 March 2018). "'A Fantastic Woman' reignites Chile trans rights debate". Washington Blade. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  12. ^ Cambero, Fabio (12 September 2018). "Chile approves law for transgender citizens to change official details". Reuters. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b Roxborough, Scott (4 March 2018). "Oscars: Chile's Win for 'A Fantastic Woman' a Transgender Watershed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  14. ^ ""Una mujer fantástica" se lleva el Ariel a la mejor película iberoamericana". El Periódico. 6 June 2018.
  15. ^ 6nemablog (22 December 2017). "Grand Prix UCC 2018: cinq finalistes issus de quatre pays, le Cavens à Home". 6néma (in French). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  16. ^ Mitz, Johanna (17 February 2017). "TEDDY AWARD Winners 2017". Teddy Awards. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury". Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Le Festival du Film de Cabourg 2017 a distingué ses lauréats". Vanity Fair. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  19. ^ Kilday, Gregg (6 December 2017). "Critics' Choice Awards: 'The Shape of Water' Leads With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  20. ^ Kilday, Gregg (10 January 2018). "'Call Me by Your Name' Leads Dorian Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  21. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (12 April 2018). "GLAAD Media Awards: 'This Is Us,' 'A Fantastic Woman' Among Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  22. ^ Erbland, Kate (11 December 2017). "Golden Globes 2018 Film Nominees Led by 'The Shape of Water' and 'The Post'". IndieWire. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  23. ^ AFP (3 February 2018). ""Una mujer fantástica", gana Goya a mejor película iberoamericana". El Espectador. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  24. ^ Havana Times (16 December 2017). "Argentine Drama "Alanis" Takes Best Film Award at the Havana Film Festival". Havana Times. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Collateral Awards of Havana Film Festival Granted". Prensa Latina. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  26. ^ Sharf, Zack (21 November 2017). "2018 Independent Spirit Award Nominations: 'Get Out' and 'Call Me by Your Name' Dominate". IndieWire. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  27. ^ "2017 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  28. ^ "A Fantastic Woman". Palm Springs International Film Festival. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Félicité Garners Palm Springs Accolades". Palm Springs Life. 13 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  30. ^ Hecht, John (30 April 2018). "Sebastian Lelio's 'A Fantastic Woman' Sweeps Platino Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2018.

External links[edit]