Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Winner! Best Screenplay and Queer Palm – Cannes 2019
France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.
Winner of a coveted Cannes prize and one of the best reviewed films of the year, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE solidifies Céline Sciamma as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the world today. Noémie and Adèle Haenel turn the subtle act of looking into a dangerous, engrossing thrill, crafting the most breathtaking and elegant performances of the year. To watch Marianne and Héloïse fall in love is to see love itself invented onscreen. With contemporary themes in period dress, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is one of the greatest love stories ever told.
France, 2019, 119 minutes, Rated R, In French and Italian with English Subtitles, Directed by Céline Sciamma
“Sizzles with an erotic heat…Sciamma’s transfixing film, about the heady experience of an impossible first love, is a timeless work of art.”– Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
“Something glorious…breathtaking precision and artistry. Sciamma crafts a film that truly earns the term exquisite.”– Richard Lawson, VANITY FAIR
“A subtle and thrilling love story.”– A.O. Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“It’s a visual masterpiece…the cinematography by Claire Mathon is stunning [and] the acting is wonderful.”– Claudia Puig, FILMWEEK (KPCC-NPR, LOS ANGELES)
“A deeply stirring romance with a modern soul.”– A.A. Dowd, AV CLUB
“Not since Jane Campion’s The Piano has a costume drama presented such a gorgeous view of love from a woman’s point of view. Adele Haenel and Noemie Merlant are sensational.”– John Bleasdale, CINEVUE