A Fantastic Woman ★★★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

A Fantastic Woman ★★★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

There is something about nightclubs that appeals to filmmakers. The work of American directors like Martin Scorsese and James Gray is riddled with them. In 2017, the Cannes-storming AIDS activism drama BPM (Beats Per Minute) featured a group of friends who spent most nights in clubs; places where identities are subsumed in the dark but that are also communal, just like the movies.

Now we have the Chilean film A Fantastic Woman, one of five nominees for best foreign-language film at this year’s Academy Awards. It’s about a transgender nightclub singer, Marina (Daniela Vega). A pivotal scene has her leading a highly choreographed chorus line on the dance floor. Like BPM, the film cleverly weaves moments of dreamlike symbolism into what could otherwise be mistaken for a slice of life.

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