Tonight marks the 90th Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre, and the hype is all too real. A history-making foreign film starring a transgender actress, Daniela Vega, just took home the title of Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars. Here's where to watch A Fantastic Woman, so you can keep up with Oscars history.
Alamo Drafthouse is showing A Fantastic Woman in theaters across the country. You will definitely want to check it out if you haven't already seen it, so be sure to head over to their site to see if they are playing the Chilean film near you.
A Fantastic Woman is directed by Sebastián Lelio and co-written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza. According to Drafthouse, the film spotlights a young transgender opera singer named Marina Vidal, played by actress Daniela Vega. Vega is also a transgender woman herself. Marina's boyfriend Orlando passes away suddenly following an aneurysm, and she's left to mourn her heartbreaking loss while dealing with horrible discrimination for being transgender. Orlando's family does not accept Marina and she must figure out how to cope with her horrible loss in the midst of discrimination and not being accepted by Orlando's family.
According to Variety, Lelio first reached out to Vega to come on as a consultant and help him understand and respectfully paint the life of a transgender woman living in Chile. After about a year of correspondence via Skype and email, Leilo realized that Vega was the only person that could play the role of Marina.
I knew I could I knew I could pay a price for making Daniela the focal point of the film, but if it succeeded, then we would gain something precious. Her physical presence carries the story in a way no other person’s can.
Vega started out as an opera singer and continued doing theater in Chile. In 2014, she finally made it to the screen in The Guest (La Visita) where her role as a transgender female came face-to-face with the real world and learned how to live under scrutiny from the outside world.
Because of her life and history, Vega's thoughts on playing Marina mirror Leilo's. As a trans woman herself, Vega understands her unique perspective and how she can use it to bring characters like Marina to life in a way that no one else can. She told Vanity Fair,
The fact that I am trans provides the script and narrative with a higher level of truth. But, more importantly, it opens a door into the movie world that had never been explored before, because I am a trans actress playing a trans woman.
Not only did Vega shine in A Fantastic Woman, but she made history at the 2018 Oscars by being the first openly transgender presenter at the Oscars. She introduced Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent for their "Mystery of Love" from Call Me By Your Name performance.
Joined by Mahershala Ali, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani, Gal Gadot, Nicole Kidman, and Zendaya, among others — Daniela Vega rounded out an awesome group of presenters for the Academy Awards.
Having A Fantastic Woman snag an award and having Vega as a presenter at the 2018 Oscars shows that we are moving the dial more and more in the right direction. Hopefully, we just get better and better, and at the 2019 Oscars we will see even more representation and diversity.