The minute you meet Marina, you already tell she isn’t a real woman by her voice and hands. She still looks like a woman, and “A Fantastic Woman,” a Spanish film up for an Academy Award, shows us the dangers and temptations of a man in a woman’s body.

Daniela Vega is electrifying as Marina, formally known as Daniel, who is in a relationship with a much older man named Orlando (Francisco Reyes). He dies from aneurysm, and his family, including his ex-wife (Aline KΓΌppenheim) and son (Nicolas Saavedra), want her out of their lives, mainly because of her relationship, which would be considered to be perversion.

An example of how the movie shows us the struggles of transgenders is when Marina attends the wake unwanted, and is taken by Orlando’s relatives, who tape her and throw harsh gay slurs at her. Reminds me of how the young gay boy was treated in “Moonlight.”

Nonetheless, she still wants to prove to herself she is now a woman.

“A Fantastic Woman” is entertaining in the ways we see this transgender go through life as a woman and how others would treat her. It starts off with a love story, then a case on whether or not she was involved with Orlando’s death, and it finishes with the struggles and determination she is given.

The movie also has a nice choice of visions. The best include saunas that change colors, Marina walking down a windy street, and a night club she attends with flashy outfits and lights flickering.

I didn’t understand a few elements, mainly with the family and the detectives, but I managed to catch on. And wait till you see her last encounter with the family.


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