A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica, Chile-Germany-Spain-US, 2017)

Super hero

I saw this Berlin Festival winner (best screenplay) at a preview and managed to avoid knowing anything about the film, apart from it was directed by Sebastián Lelio who’d made Gloria, which was enough recommendation for me. This proved a boon given the film’s subject matter, which I won’t give away.

A Fantastic Woman is a brilliant melodrama and Lelio isn’t afraid to go way off realism; in one sequence the protagonist Marina (Daniela Vega) is walking down a street tracked by the camera. The wind gets up blowing detritus into her face. It gets stronger and, at the end of the scene, she comes to a dead stop leaning almost 45-degrees into the wind. This is symbolic of the difficulties n Marina’s life but, like Gloria, she continues to battle.

In a film about identity it is no surprise that mirrors are seen throughout the film including, near the end, in one telling shot that questions how biology shapes who we are. In another bravura scene, workmen carrying an enormous reflective surface stop in the street and Marina is shown in the wobbling mirror: another great visual metaphor about body image.

It’s a cracking film.

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3 Responses

  1. […] sometimes to see films with no preconceptions. I’m not sure what the point of this preface is, A Fantastic Woman had one also, because it’s not selling the film as the audience are already in […]

  2. […] sometimes to see films with no preconceptions. I’m not sure what the point of this preface is, A Fantastic Woman had one also, because it’s not selling the film as the audience are already in […]

  3. […] are spoiled; and he’s completed his English-language remake of Gloria due early next year. A Fantastic Woman was fantastic and I think Disobedience is even […]

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