The 54th annual Chicago International Film Festival took place this past October. Here, quick takes on 10 films that stood out.
Six capsule reviews of films that screened at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival.
** ½ (out of 4)
When it comes to misfortune in romance, you can’t get much worse than Marina (Daniela Vega), the trans-female protagonist of Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman. At the start of the film, she’s in a relationship with an older man named Orlando (Francisco Reyes), and she appears to have it all: we watch as they celebrate her birthday at a restaurant, talk about vacation plans, and make love in his apartment. Later that same night, however, Orlando wakes up with a pounding headache – and in the span of mere hours, he collapses, tumbles down a flight of stairs, and dies at a nearby hospital. From there, moreover, Marina’s problems only get worse. Thanks to her gender identity, the police become convinced that she had a hand in Orlando’s death, Orlando’s son tries to evict her from Orlando’s apartment – and Orlando’s ex-wife goes so far as to bar her from attending Orlando’s funeral.
The drama that Lelio weaves out of this depressing premise undeniably has plenty to recommend it.