TIFF 2017: Our Review Of ‘A Fantastic Woman’

TIFF 2017: Our Review Of ‘A Fantastic Woman’

A Fantastic Woman

Special Presentations

At a glance, A Fantastic Woman’s transgender heroine Marina (Daniela Vega) is on top of the world. She’s attractive, a talented singer, and in a happy relationship with her loving boyfriend Orlando (Francisco Reyes). After a blissful night of dinner and dancing, her life takes a sudden turn. Orlando (who is considerably older) awakens in the night suffering from an aneurysm. When the couple arrives at the hospital it’s already too late and Orlando’s death leaves Marina in a world without love, acceptance, and compassion.

Marina struggles in the wake of Orlando’s passing; doctors dismiss her, police harass her, and most of Orlando’s family see her as a shameful abomination. She’s hurt by a society that keeps beating her down and with heavy hearts, we follow Marina’s struggle to find her resilience.

Daniela Vega’s superb performance carries the film. Marina stars in almost every scene and she runs through a gamut of emotions; grief, apathy, anguish, fear, and on occasion, joy. Reyes doesn’t get much screen time but his presence is felt throughout the movie. His warmth and compassion are a reminder that Marina’s cruel and punishing world is not devoid of love and kindness.

Writer/director Sebastián Lelio plunges Marina into a series of confrontations expressing people’s misunderstandings, misgivings, and mistrust. And in doing so, Lelio reveals the plight of transgender people in 2017. A Fantastic Woman’s call for empathy and understanding couldn’t come at a better time.

 

SHOWTIMES

Tuesday September 12, 2017 6:30pm Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre
Wednesday September 13, 2017 12:15pm Tiff Bell Lightbox 1

This post was written by
Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based freelance writer and pop culture curator. Victor currently contributes insights, criticisms, and reviews to several online publications where he has extended coverage to the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada. Victor has a soft spot in his heart for Tim Burton movies and his two poorly behaved beagles (but not in that order).
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