A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantastica) (R)
In the early scenes, Marina is adored and cherished by an older man, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). But Marina has no idea how dependent on Orlando she is until he suffers sudden chest pains and she must rush him to the hospital. Once the two are separated by the surgery room doors, Marina seems to understand her life of happiness and security is already dissipating. A doctor delivers the news that Orlando is dead and questions Marina about a bruise on his head -- sustained from a fall as she was helping him get to the hospital. But she knows people will be skeptical of her story. Marina then slips into survival mode, and Vega's performance is so kinetic, here, that we can almost see the blood pulsing furiously through her body as Marina digests that her safety is now threatened. The physicality of her performance is the most intriguing element of this film. Marina's oscillating comfort and discomfort in her body is a story told without words. A Fantastic Woman shows that the obvious insults a transperson may endure will, of course, weigh on the psyche, but the death by a thousand well-meaning cuts hurts as well.