The Academy Awards--the Hollywood's biggest film event--has always stood for causes and rights of people across the world. The 90th Oscars award show held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Centre in Hollywood, California on early Monday morning (IST) was no different. The transgender rights movement across the world got a big pat on its back as the Oscars honoured the Chilean drama--A Fantastic Woman--which tells the story of the struggles of a young transgender woman.
The film won the coveted Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars. The role of the protagonist was played by trans actor Daniela Vega, making it a rare film as generally non-transgender actors play the role of transgenders in films.
Daniela, 28, has appeared in only one film before A Fantastic Woman. She became the first openly transgender presenter at an Oscar ceremony when she introduced a song during Monday's event.
The film, directed and co-written by Sebastián Lelio, marked Chile's first Oscar victory in the category. The Guardian has called the film "a bold and a moving love story".
"Beyond the high-profile title fight between The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Lady Bird, the most intriguing battle at tonight's Oscar ceremony will be for best foreign language film.
"The bookies' favourites, however, are Ruben Östlund's Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Square from Sweden, and the Chilean entry A Fantastic Woman, a bold and moving love story from Gloria director Sebastián Lelio with a mesmerising central performance by rising star Daniela Vega," added The Guardian.
Calling the Oscars win for the film "a transgender watershed", The Hollywood Reporter writes, "The Spanish-language feature, about a trans woman who faces bigotry and intolerance after her partner dies, has become a touchstone for an entire movement, and the film's star, trans actress Daniela Vega, its spokeswoman."
Accepting the award, director of the film Leilo said, "Thank you so much. This is an amazing gift. Thank you to the Academy. I want to, well, thank my dear friends and producers, Juan de Dios Lorrain. I want to thank the cast of the film, especially the brilliant actor Francisco Reyes and the inspiration for this movie, Daniela Vega.
"This film was made by a lot of friends and artists - I share this with all of you tonight. I want to thank Aaron Brown and Sophie Dollen, everyone from Sony Classics, Tom Bernard, Michael Barker, Participant Media, Setembro Sine, Complacent Films and my wife, Verdinia - I love you forever. Thank you so, so much."
Twitter hailed the win for the film. Here are a few tweets:
The Oscar winner for best foreign language film wouldn’t have worked without its own Fantastic Woman, Daniela Vega https://t.co/J8Em0QhAUP— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 5, 2018
a chilean movie about a trans woman PLAYED by a trans woman won best foreign language film today... VIVA LATINOAMERICA #Oscars— 🌙 (@sslxoc) March 5, 2018