Transgender actress Daniela Vega delivers a great performance in an OK film from Chilean director Sebastian Lelio.
In A Fantastic Woman, she plays Marina, a club singer at night and waitress by day who has a boyfriend twice her age in Orlando (Francisco Reyes). After celebrating her birthday, Orlando falls ill and dies, leaving Marina to deal with his family and authorities. Marina is persecuted by Orlando’s family, questioned by detectives about the circumstances of Orlando’s death, and restricted from attending his wake and funeral.
The story never really takes hold. The plotting is routine and unimaginative, but some fantasy sequences and a couple of musical numbers give Vega a nice opportunity to shine. She keeps the movie moving forward when the story lags.
Lelio has a few stylistic flourishes in the film, and it’s worth seeing in the end. (It won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.) See it for Vega, who takes the film to higher levels.
A Fantastic Woman is now available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com, and is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.