A FANTASTIC WOMAN — Review by Diane Carson

In an early scene in Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, performing on stage, the transgender, sultry nightclub singer Marina flirts with Orlando, her older lover and partner. They return to their apartment, make love and go to sleep before a medical emergency initiates the tragedy Marina will face and the treatment she’ll contend with from Orlando’s family. Continue reading…

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A FANTASTIC WOMAN — Review by Moira Sullivan

A Fantastic Woman (“Una Mujer Fantastica”, Chile 2017)) opens on the expanse of the majestic and torrential flow of the Iguazú Falls located on the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Its visually moving beauty is photographed by Benjamín Echazarreta and eloquently accompanied in a flute and harp composition by Matthew Herbert who scores the film. The cascade of water plummets from several sides of the mountain ridge, creating a massive vortex called “Garganta del Diablo” – the “Devil’s Throat”. Mist emanates in slow motion from this voluptuous wonder as it hits the rocks below. It is surprising that this marvel is named for a malevolent force, but this is also the paradox of the dramatic development in this well-crafted and poignant film. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 2, 2018: A FANTASTIC WOMAN

motw logo 1-35Chile’s Oscar-nominated “A Fantastic Woman” is a modern twist on the kind of Douglas Sirk or Joan Crawford movies of the 1950’s about women in torment. Those were stories of women forced to suffer indignities but who never lost their own dignity and glamour. In the mid-century, “the problem that has no name” described by Betty Friedan had not yet led to the women’s movement, and women in film and in real life often felt invisible, as though all women cared about was keeping the house clean and the children happy. In this film, our heroine is a trans woman named Marina, played by a trans actress, Daniela Vega. The story is about her struggle to be seen for who she is and for all that she is. Continue reading…

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A FANTASTIC WOMAN — Review by Susan Wloszczyna

As an ardent admirer of Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria, about a mousy 50-ish divorcee and office worker who yearns for romance but only on her own terms, it was no surprise that his A Fantastic Woman similarly managed to take my breath away while viewing the world through female eyes. Continue reading…

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A FANTASTIC WOMAN — Review by Cate Marquis

A Fantastic Woman begins on a romantic note, with an older man listening to a singer with a band. In high heels, short skirt, and a golden voice, Marina Vidal is pretty but there is something a bit different her. The couple go out, then back home. Late at night, the man awakens and doesn’t feel well. Despite a desperate rush to the hospital, Marina loses her beloved to an aneurysm. In her grief, Marina faces a new problem, her older lover Orlando’s (Francisco Reyes) disapproving family, and then police who seem overly interested in her gender. Continue reading…

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MINIONS, TANGERINE, 10,000 KM and Other July 10 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

minions poster bullock croppedMinions delivers delightful summer silliness as three of the crowd-pleasing yellow pill-like hoard seek to serve a prima evil-doer, Scarlett Overkill, played by Sandra Bullock. A fascinating must see, Tangerine cuts to the chase on transgender hooker lifestyle in LA, shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, following Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) an a rapacious manhunt for her cheating pimp (James Ransone). 10,000 KM takes on a long distance romance sustained in cyperspace. Plus Boulevard, What We Did On Our Vacation and Do I Sound Gay?. Read the reviews…

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AMY, JACKIE & RYAN, MALA MALA and Other July 1-3 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

amywinehousefromwenewscroppedThree stirring documentaries top this week’s openers: Amy illuminates the tragic self destruction of legendary songstress Amy Winehouse, Mala Mala follows the struggle of Puerto Rico’s transgender population for equal rights, and Cartel Land follows vigilantes on both sides of the border who’ve targeted Mexico’s drug lords. In narrative mode, Jackie & Ryan casts Katerine Heigl as a former songstress and single mom with some serious issues, while Magic Mike XXL reprieves the original’s abundance of pelvic thrusts, supported by a skimpy but sentimental jockstrap of a script. Then there’s Terminator Genisys, hopefully the last gasp of this particular immortal mechanical man franchise. Read the reviews>>

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Sharon Shattuck on FROM THIS DAY FORWARD and Growing Up With A Transgender Dad – Linda Barnard Interviews

from this day smallAs documentary filmmaker Sharon Shattuck planned her wedding two years ago, she recalled her father’s unsettling request, made when she was about 13 on the drive to school: “Whenever you get married, I hope that you’ll let me wear a dress when I walk you down the aisle.” Read more…

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