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YNMS: A Fantastic Woman

by Ilich Mejía

Since screening at Berlinale earlier this year, and now at TIFF and Telluride, A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica in Spanish) has been generating very positive talk. It is Sebastián Lelio's follow up to 2013's wonderful and under-appreciated Gloria. The film stars trans actress Daniela Vega as a waitress mourning her lover in what looks like will be another queer classic from this year. 

Watch the trailer and let's discuss the Yes No and Maybe So of it all after the jump... 

Let that stunner sink in and let's break it down...


  • Even though this is her first leading role, Daniela Vega seems to naturally light up a frame in a way that could really pay off for her and the film.
  • Speaking of, cinematographer Benajmín Echazarreta, who also shot Gloria, is doing beautiful things with the Chilean nightclub scene and his subjects.  
  • Just from the trailer, we can see how the film will not shy from confronting the gender politics that come to affect so many people society tries to shelf away. It will provoke a thoughtful, necessary conversation that places like Latin America could take lots from. 
  • Millenial pink title card!


  • Apologies if this headline was misleading, but we have nothing to file here.


  • The only maybes this trailer inspires are related to its Oscar chances. If Chile picks it as their Foreign Film submission, the nomination is very likely with Toni Erdmann's Maren Ade, Jackie's Pablo Larraín, and Lelio himself behind it as producers. 
  • Vega has a promising chance to make history if she is nominated for Best Actress. She would be the first trans woman to be nominated in that category, which is a timely opportunity given the current political climate and television's "woke" encouragement.  

You know where we stand, but are you a yes, a no, or a maybe so? Share your thoughts on Fantástica!

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Reader Comments (7)

Jessica Chastain is coming!!! Change your predictions! Bye Basic Hawkins and Loser Winslet!!!!

September 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermapple

Having seen it, I will back any "Yes" ratings. Whilst not quite as magnificent as GLORIA, it gets damn close (and maybe does surpass for those who have a deep personal connection to the story).

September 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

l'm very excited for this and feel that Daniela Vega could be a political dark horse in Best Actress. Also, even though she is up against more starry competition, she could bulldoze her way in a la Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider who got nominated over ScarJo, Uma Thurman, AND Nicole Kidman.

September 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Did you read the comments of Jake Gyllenhaal's performance in "Stronger" yet, Nathaniel? With the exception of The Guardian, all of them are the full definition of underwhelming. Many people warned about that, but the Jake Kool-Aid was too high, right?

September 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterZzzz

This looks stunning. I can't wait to see it. It's so gratifying to have Chilean masters like Pablo Larrain and Sebastian Lelio receive such widespread international attention.

Yes mapple, Chastain is getting strong reviews for Molly's Game, but so is Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water, Jennifer Lawrence for mother!, Emma Stone for Battle of the Sexes, Frances McDormand for Three Billboards, Carey Mulligan for Mudbound and Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird. Not to mention early year acclaim for Salma Hayek in Beatriz at Dinner and Lily Collins in To the Bone. And we haven't even gotten to Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Claire Foy or Emma Thompson whose films are yet to be seen (but likely praised). Such a strong and competitive year for Best Actress.

September 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

"Bye Basic Hawkins and Loser Winslet"
Funny how Chastain is without a doubt the least talented of the three actresses you mentioned.

September 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDg

I saw it earlier in the year and it's a good enough film, with some of its visual metaphors being too on the nose and Daniela Vega's performance a little stiff in my opinion. People in Chile didn't like the movie that much, it shows a very white and European version of Santiago, like it was made for festivals and international audiences. Chile is definitely submitting it though and with the team behind it, it's pretty likely that it'll get in.

September 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

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