FANTASTIC FEST 2022: Amazing Elisa (2022)

Elisa is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her father after the death of her mother. She’s obsessed with a comic book superhero and thinks that she has the same powers, which finds her putting her life into danger at nearly every opportunity.

Meanwhile, a painter named Héctor and his wheelchair-bound wife Úrsula are engaged in a battle of wills over lack of emotional support and an upcoming gallery show.

How are they connected? And is that really Elisa’s hero Galerista wandering the alleys and streets at night with her gigantic canine Dante? Can Elisa really use her powers to bring the man who killed her mother to justice? Just how is she able to withstand blades and possess super strength? And how is this all connected?

Just as how the superhero violence in this movie feels distant and anything but the gaudy combat you expect, the sex scenes in this feel at once real and clinical, as if they are pushing you away for the prurient reasons why they usually happen in films. Similarly, while Úrsula has no feeling below her waist, she still has desires, yet the impotentcy of her husband Héctor causes him to seek release elsewhere. He has everything yet can’t figure it out.

Elisa may or may not be a superhero, but she’s grappling with trauma from the death of her mother that manifests itself through a retreat into fantasy and perhaps even self-harm. Her father begins to follow her down that same path; there are no easy answers because life, unlike cinematic universes, is messy and has no real ending.

Director and writer Sadrac González-Perellón has really crafted something special here, even if at times he’s working at pushing the audience away by keeping them at a calculated distance. Work your way through; there’s something wonderful at the heart of this.

If you’re attending Fantastic Fest in person, Amazing Elisa will play at the following times:
Thu, Sep 22nd, 8:30 PM @ Theater 7
Tue, Sep 27th, 8:15 PM @ Theater 2
Tue, Sep 27th, 8:15 PM @ Theater 5
Tue, Sep 27th, 8:15 PM @ Theater 8

You can also get a virtual badge here.

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