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Somewhere in Santiago at a dimly-lit nightclub, Orlando, the kindly and well-off owner of a textile company, locks eyes with Marina, a hopeful singer and the roughly half-his-age love of his life. But, unfortunately, after Marina's birthday celebration and a night of passion, Orlando falls gravely ill--and by the following morning--he dies in hospital. In the wake of her companion's untimely death, Marina will soon realise that, from now on, everything is brought into question: her involvement in Orlando's death, their unconventional relationship; and above all, her right to mourn her beloved deceased. In the end, what was Marina's crime; a deed so hideous that would rob a fantastic woman of her respect, her dignity, and ultimately, her identity?Written by
Daniela Vega wasn't initially supposed to play the leading role in A Fantastic Woman (2017) and was approached by director Sebastián Lelio as a consultant on the research he was carrying on about the transgender Chilean community. As Daniela began to share her personal experiences with him, Lelio decided to entrust her with the role. See more »
Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega) is a transgender woman and aspiring singer in her twenties and living in Santiago, Chile. After the death of her lover, a man in his fifties with an ex-wife and an adult son, Marina is left alone in dealing with her grief and the aftermath of the death.
In addition to the burden of grief, Marina must also deal with humiliating and prejudicial situations around her transgender status. She subtly shows an attitude of "I hate having to go through this again but I can." Interestingly, her transgender status is used to her advantage in a later scene in the film.
Vega is in nearly every scene of the film and must carry it on her shoulders. She does the job superbly. She ably conveys awkwardness and vulnerability as her character attempts to maintain what is rightfully hers while being aware that many battles may not be won.
Much of the film follows Marina as she journeys through the city's urban atmosphere to numb her pain. The last quarter of the film takes a different twist that is less interesting than what precedes it. But "A Fantastic Woman" is a good film overall mainly due to the subtle skills of its lead performer.
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