When Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio broke out in 2013 with the terrific “Gloria,” the movie walked away with the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival and was lauded by arthouse crowds and critics. And now, not only is the filmmaker back with “A Fantastic Woman,” he’s got the producing powers of Maren Ade and Pablo Larrain backing him up.
Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Kuppenheim, Nicolas Saavedra, Amparo Noguera, Nestor Cantillana, Alejandro Goic, Antonia Zegers, and Sergio Hernandez star in this intriguing drama that follows a transgender woman who becomes the center of a storm that swirls when her older lover suddenly passes away. Here’s the official synopsis:
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Marina and Orlando are in love and plan to spend their lives together. She is working as a waitress and adores singing. Her lover, twenty years her senior, has left his family for her. One night, when they return home after having exuberantly celebrated Marina’s birthday at a restaurant, Orlando suddenly turns deathly pale and stops responding. At the hospital, all the doctors can do is confirm his death. Events follow thick and fast: Marina finds herself facing a female police inspector’s unpleasant questions, and Orlando’s family shows her nothing but anger and mistrust. Orlando’s wife excludes Marina from the funeral; she also orders her to leave the apartment — which on paper at least belonged to Orlando — as soon as possible. Marina is a transgender woman. The deceased’s family feels threatened by her sexual identity. With the same energy she once used to fight for her right to live as a woman Marina, with head held high, now insists on her right to grieve. Even if her environment conspires against her, the film at least is entirely on her side, showing us a protagonist who, although increasingly side-lined, is nonetheless strong and worldly-wise — a truly fantastic woman.
“A Fantastic Woman” will be looking for U.S. distribution, and you can bet its a movie many will be paying attention to in Berlin. [Variety]
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