Tag: Sebastián Lelio

Image courtesy of Bleecker Street.

** ½ (out of 4)

Like the other movie Sebastián Lelio released this year, A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience seeks to capture the emotional psychology of a non-heterosexual female. But while Fantastic centered on a trans Chilean singer, Disobedience’s protagonist is Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a lesbian who works as a photographer in New York. When the film opens, Ronit learns that her father (Anton Lesser), the spiritual leader of a secluded, London-based Orthodox Jewish community, has suddenly passed away. And when she returns home for his funeral, she receives still more unexpected news: Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), her father’s protégé, has gotten hitched with Esti (Rachel McAdams), a woman with whom Ronit once had a passionate, forbidden affair. 

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

** 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.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals