Last Thursday was the last day I could see this film locally. I wouldn’t have time to go to another venue further away. A Trans Woman’s blog I read almost every day had written about it the end of February and I had been watching for any local listings. I finally found one on Monday of last week and planned seeing it Thursday, Feb., 8th.
I went a bit early for the show-time of 2:20pm. That was the only time I could see it. I knew I would likely find parking if I went a bit early, and I succeeded. I walked a few blocks during the low 30f, sunny afternoon, and then went into a small mall on the block. I warmed up until it was a bit after 2pm and began walking to the theater. It had opened at 1:50, and I had hoped to smell fresh popcorn? Unfortunately, it was stale, but, I endured it with my water. The seats are very comfortable, and spacious for my very long legs, I’m 6’4″ and too much of that is legs. I drive a wonderful Mazda 3 hatchback, that someone considered large people when engineering space. I love them for that. I love my Mazda.
Well, I sat and nibbled my popcorn and waited for the greeting by management prior to the film. When he was finished, I noted to myself, that as usual, I had already turned my volume off and pocketed my phone. While I had waited, I enjoyed looking at the old and new which remodeling does to an ageless theater venue like the Uptown in Minneapolis, MN.
The beginning of “A Fantastic Woman” drew me in, and I was kept in the film throughout. Drama peaks and intensity, ameliorated by the stoic strength of our fantastic woman character Marina, played by Daniela Vega. She is a wonder and powerhouse on the screen. Her portrayal, and in some way, from seeing interviews of her, it could be imagined she drew from personal experience, flowed seamlessly throughout the film.
Marina faced the death of her beloved with emotions many of us can relate to from those close to us passing. She’s devastated, and must endure an oppressive, dismissing attitude from Orlando’s former wife, son, police and some doctors. She’s abused again by those against her attending her beloved’s wake and funeral! She must also deal with unexpectedly intrusive police. The Police from the start evoke denying her, and implying she must prove she’s innocent of being complicit in Orlando’s death. We get to see Orlando a few more times, his visits are timed with Marina’s need. I love how it was done.
A note, this is either too much information, or the only information some of you will get about this film. I’ve tried to engage a few people who might consider the film of interest, but none respond, so I’m just doing what I want. This review gives away the plot, and I don’t really care, how many of you are actually going to see the film, and by the time you might find it available to rent, I believe you’ll have forgotten reading this. I don’t believe more than few will read this anyway. Thanks if you do read, I don’t mean to discount your readership, I’m only making a point that I shouldn’t have to be concerned about giving away the film’s plot.
I’m endeared to characters like Marina’s. I have dealt with marginalization and depths of emotions like her character endures. Bullies and neglect created a stoicism in me that denied my needs for decades. It’s amazing how doing that fails at some point. I have noted, it’s like a dam breaking, and one’s life must spill out and be dealt with, or it consumes the rest of it. Marina shows how dealing with her life, in the time it’s happening, has given back to her. What that means to me, is she is working on self-hood; what’s it more commonly called, “self-determination”? I’ll look it up later, I’m almost out of time. I started this too late.
I am delighted I was able to see this film, and have sensed it could open conversations about self-hood, or self-determination. I am getting to know myself better at my middle 50’s, than seemed I needed to, but, the necessity is clear to me now. These many blog posts are that discovery and sorting. My interests are working to avail me a deeper sense of what I like and will always be, and maybe I encourage myself to further endeavors in the course of discovery.
I hope you’ve read this today, I do want to share about this film, and hope some find it interesting.
Best wishes and hopes to you.