Sebastian Lelio accepts the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman- Reuters
A Fantastic Woman has won the Oscar for best foreign language film at the 90th Academy Awards, edging out Ruben Östlund’s Swedish satire The Square and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Russian fable Loveless.
Directed by Sebastián Lelio and written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, the film marks the first Chilean entry for the foreign language Oscar since Pablo Larraín’s No, and the first ever Academy award for Lelio, in his follow-up to the acclaimed Gloria.
A Fantastic Woman follows Marina, a transgender woman played by Daniela Vega, who is in a relationship with Orlando, a man 30 years her senior. When Orlando dies of an aneurysm, Marina becomes an object of suspicion for his family, who see and treat her as a rogue, and she must figure out how to work through her grief while external forces make things even more difficult.
Critics have showered the film with praise, particularly for a transgender woman who appeared in just one film before A Fantastic Woman.
The foreign language category was considered something of a toss-up before the ceremony, the other strong contender being The Square, Ruben Östlund’s satirical drama about an art gallerist.
In the Fade, Fatih Akin’s German drama, prevailed at the Golden Globes but was not nominated for an Academy award.
A Fantastic Woman also took home honours on the festival circuit, winning a Silver Bear for best screenplay at the Berlin film festival. At Sunday’s ceremony, Vega became the first openly transgender person to present an award at the Oscars.