‘A Fantastic Woman’: Groundbreaking transgender love story on track to win Chile its 1st Oscar for Best Foreign Film

“I hope I’m the last cisgender man playing a transgender woman,” said Jeffrey Tambor when he won his second Emmy for playing Maura Pfefferman in “Transparent” in 2016. That series arrived at a moment when the conversation around transgender representation was evolving from a call for greater representation of transgender characters in general to a call for more transgender actors to be hired to actually play those roles. Now “A Fantastic Woman” is helping to break that ground with its transgender protagonist played by a transgender actress leading the way to a potential first ever Oscar victory for Chile.

Daniela Vega stars in the film as a trans woman whose lover dies suddenly, leaving her in a tense conflict with his surviving family. It’s nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, and it’s likely to win according to our latest predictions. Based on the combined forecasts of thousands of Gold Derby users who have entered their picks in our predictions center thus far, “Fantastic Woman” gets leading odds of 8/15.

Among those users making their predictions are 24 Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets, 15 of whom are betting on “A Fantastic Woman” to prevail: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Erik Davis (Fandango), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Tim Gray (Variety), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

This is only the second Chilean film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and it would be the first to win. The nation previously contended five years ago with Pablo Larrain‘s docudrama “No” (2012) about a 1988 referendum to decide if dictator Augusto Pinochet should remain in power. That award instead went to “Amour,” Michael Haneke‘s French-language drama representing Austria. Only two awards have ever gone to South American films, both of them from Argentina: “The Official Story” (1985) and “The Secret in Their Eyes” (2009).

So far “A Fantastic Woman” has earned nominations for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. Do you agree with our consensus that it will earn a breakthrough Oscar victory for transgender films and for Chile?

Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in all 24 categories. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your Oscar winner predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4.

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