The time is right for this film and this film is right for the time. Marina (Daniela Vega) is a young trans-woman: waitress, night club singer and much younger lover to Orlando (Francisco Reyes) a wealthy businessman. When Orlando suddenly dies one night of an aneurysm, Marina’s life, love and identity are cruelly, indifferently scrutinised by authorities and Orlando’s indignant family. She is subjected to accusations of gold-digging, murder and even supposed well-meaning intervention, for instance by a sex abuse investigator, simply lead to further humiliation.
This film by Chilean director Sebastian Lileo has deservedly been touted as an Oscar winner. The portrayal of Marina is complex, sensitive and honest. Lileo presents the trans experience as nuanced; in one particular scene, Marina literally crosses gender boundaries. It’s beautifully photographed with a couple of off-beat scenes enriching the emotional texture. Trans actor, Vega is outstanding, thoroughly gripping in every scene. The wonderful soundtrack also deserves special mention.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich