A Fantastic Woman review – a bold and moving love story

Beyond the high-profile title fight between The Shape of Water , Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri , and Lady Bird , the most intriguing battle at tonight’s Oscar ceremony will be for best foreign language film. The diverse contenders include Ildikó Enyedi’s ethereal On Body and Soul from Hungary; Ziad Doueiri’s provocative The Insult from Lebanon; and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s bleak Loveless from Russia. The bookies’ favourites, however, are Ruben Östlund’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Square from Sweden, and the Chilean entry A Fantastic Woman , a bold and moving love story from Gloria director Sebastián Lelio with a mesmerising central performance by rising star Daniela Vega. Vega plays Marina Vidal, a waitress and aspiring singer whom we first meet performing a popular song (“Your love is like yesterday’s newspaper”) with cool, alluring confidence. As she sings, her eyes meet those of her lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes), an older man who radiates adoration in Marina’s presence. Gliding cameras and rich colours celebrate their relationship, sensual and full of vibrant life. At a birthday dinner, Orlando promises Marina a trip to the Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world (the implication being that she is the […]

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