Oscar Countdown/Foreign Film Friday: A Fantastic Woman review
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A Fantastic Woman tells the story of Marina (Daniela Vega), a transgender woman that has to face the sudden death of her boyfriend, Orlando (Francisco Reyes), who was twenty years older that her. After this unexpected tragedy, she has to put up with the hatred, exclusion, and harassment of his family that won’t let her mourn her loss in peace. This Chilean film directed by Sebastián Lelio has already received many awards, including a Goya Award for Best Ibero-American Film, and it is nominated to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is without a doubt deserving of all these accolades -- it really is a fantastic film! A Fantastic Woman starts off showing the audience a very explicit relationship between an older man and a young transgender woman. Quite a daring start, if we take into account how taboo the topic still is in many parts of the world, including Chile. Orlando’s death is followed by a series of violent and transphobic events that Marina has to endure while she fights for her right to be treated as a person, not only by Orlando's family, but also by the police and medical staff. Though difficult to watch, these are some of the best parts of the movie. A Fantastic Woman is one of those films that are uncomfortable to watch because they show truth, ugliness, unfairness: reality just as it is.
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