A Fantastic Woman

A Fantastic Woman

In Theatres: 
Feb 23, 2018
Running Time: 
104 minutes

Selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film, Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman edged out 91 other submissions to become one of the five films in its category nominated for the 90th Academy Awards. The film is a deeply personal journey for lead actress Daniela Vega, and she absolutely shines as Marina Vidal in a performance that is beyond fantastic.


Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega) is happily spending her time with her noticeably older boyfriend, Fernando (Francisco Reyes), but everything comes crashing down when he unexpectedly dies. Mariana is a transgender woman, and most of Fernando’s family, including his ex-wife, never approved of their relationship. With little opportunity to grieve the loss of her loved one, Marina must now confront the hatred she faces head-on from his family and the people around her and show them all just how fantastic a woman she really is.


Like Marina, Sebastián Lelio confronts such a sensitive topic head-on and does so in a respective manner that shines a light on what many people still consider taboo. The hatred Marina faces from Fernando’s family as well as the police, who are investigating his death, is terrifying. And yet Daniela Vega delivers a strong and inspiring performance. Vega is constantly at the center of everything so you get to see and experience everything she is going through. Her outward appearance is often calm but you can see that there is an frustration welling up just beneath the surface. And there are moments where she clearly has had enough abuse and lets her anger fly. Vega is the rock that A Fantastic Woman is built around.


A Fantastic Woman may be difficult to watch at times, but it’s a film that’s well worth it. The performances are excellent, and its personal story goes beyond just what you see on screen. The film is only Daniela Vega’s second acting role, but I guarantee we’re going to be seeing more of her in the future, and I can’t wait.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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