Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A romance blooms between a painter and her subject, a bride-to-be, in this historical romance from writer-director Céline Sciamma (Girlhood). Winner of the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay at Cannes (and nominated for the Palme d'Or).

"Set in 18th-century Brittany, Portrait of a Lady on Fire follows Marianne (Noémie Merlant), an artist commissioned by an Italian noblewoman (Valeria Golino) to paint a portrait of her reclusive daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), who is soon to be married. The peculiar conditions of this assignment, however, require that Marianne never announce to Héloïse the objective of her visit. Instead, Marianne is to escort Héloïse on walks, posing as a hired companion while closely observing her subject so as to render her likeness on canvas in secret. Dissatisfied with her initial portrait, Marianne petitions her patroness for a second chance. Marianne then confesses the ruse to Héloïse, procuring her cooperation and allowing the women to forge a much closer bond — one that will lead to a passionate intimacy." (Toronto International Film Festival)

2019Rating: M, Nudity119 minsFranceFrench with English subtitles
DramaRomanceHistoricalWorld Cinema
83%
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Reviews & comments

New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

But the languor with which the story unfolds is the most courageous move, and yet the film remains utterly captivating. The ultimate displays of passion may feel a little bloodless, but it’s hard not to be moved by the ending to this understated wonder.

4.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a love story, a treatise and an elegant manifesto. As a film – and as a soundtrack – it is a thing of beauty. And, as a piece of writing and performance, you won't see, or hear, much better this year.

5.0
0
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

press

In [writer-director Céline] Sciamma's gifted hands, the film escapes cliché and becomes something glorious - a study of forbidden love that grandly highlights how much has been lost under the crush of hetero patriarchy.

0
The Age

The Age

press

The fire burns slowly, but there's no lack of heat in Celine Sciamma's period love story.

0
Variety

Variety

press

One can hardly ignore the fact, as true then as it is now, that the world looks different when seen through a woman’s eyes.

1
Time Out

Time Out

press

It’s deeply romantic and also deeply thoughtful – an electric combination.

5.0
0
The Telegraph

The Telegraph

press

Sciamma’s splendid, multi-layered conceit manages to carry equal weight as a love story and a manifesto of sorts for feminine art.

4.0
0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A superbly elegant, enigmatic drama ... I was on the edge of my seat.

5.0
0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

Razor-sharp and shatteringly romantic...

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An exquisitely executed love story that's both formally adventurous and emotionally devastating...

0
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

But the languor with which the story unfolds is the most courageous move, and yet the film remains utterly captivating. The ultimate displays of passion may feel a little bloodless, but it’s hard not to be moved by the ending to this understated wonder.

4.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a love story, a treatise and an elegant manifesto. As a film – and as a soundtrack – it is a thing of beauty. And, as a piece of writing and performance, you won't see, or hear, much better this year.

5.0
0
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

press

In [writer-director Céline] Sciamma's gifted hands, the film escapes cliché and becomes something glorious - a study of forbidden love that grandly highlights how much has been lost under the crush of hetero patriarchy.

0
The Age

The Age

press

The fire burns slowly, but there's no lack of heat in Celine Sciamma's period love story.

0
Variety

Variety

press

One can hardly ignore the fact, as true then as it is now, that the world looks different when seen through a woman’s eyes.

1
Time Out

Time Out

press

It’s deeply romantic and also deeply thoughtful – an electric combination.

5.0
0
The Telegraph

The Telegraph

press

Sciamma’s splendid, multi-layered conceit manages to carry equal weight as a love story and a manifesto of sorts for feminine art.

4.0
0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A superbly elegant, enigmatic drama ... I was on the edge of my seat.

5.0
0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

Razor-sharp and shatteringly romantic...

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An exquisitely executed love story that's both formally adventurous and emotionally devastating...

0