Una Mujer Fantástica
After the final credits, when the screen goes dark, you might feel that the title of Sebastián Lelio’s 2017 Academy-winning film is a bit too-on-the nose: fantastic is the story, fantastic is the star Daniela Vega, fantastic is the movie. Una Mujer Fantástica, original title for A Fantastic Woman, tells the story of Marina, beautiful and enigmatic transgender woman whose life plunges into a dramatic situation after her older, divorced boyfriend Orlando dies unexpectedly in her company. Daniela Vega the portrait that her and Lelio draw together of a transgender woman fighting against the biases of her youth, class, and genderhave been widely acclaimed. In one of those quotes bound to end up in trailers (with stylized laurels and star rankings), The Guardian defined it a “sublime study of love, loss and the trans experience”.
But long before the Oscars, A Fantastic Woman stood already as a masterpiece – an alluring, emotionally astute and socially aware masterpiece. Or at least that’s what we thought when Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín, from the production company Fabula, first screened the film for us. Entrusted to design the affiche of the movie, we started playing, playing, and playing. For the whole process we counted on the constant presence of Sebastían Lelio. It took time and patience, but in the end it all went amazingly smooth. The intention was not to reveal the transexuality of the main character: we needed a poster which avoided evoking gender typologies, and instead portraying the wildness, determination and emotional depth of the main star. The choice paid off.