• Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2020)

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Release Date: February 14th, 2020

R |1 hr 59 min

Plot Summary

France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Hlose, 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 Hlose by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Hloses first moments of freedom. Hlose'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 Cline Sciamma as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the world today. Nomie and Adle 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 Hlose 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.

Cast: Adèle Haenel, VALERIA GOLINO, Noémie Merlant, Luàna Bajrami

Director: Céline Sciamma

Genres: Drama, History, Romance

Production Co: Arte France Cinéma, Hold Up Films, Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), Canal+, Ciné+, Cinécap 2, Région Ile-de-France, Lilies Films

Distributors: Neon

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Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Leslie FelperinThe Hollywood Reporter

    Assaying [Sciamma's] first period film, an exquisitely executed love story that's both formally adventurous and emotionally devastating, she sticks the landing like a UCLA gymnast in peak condition. It's so good you'll want to watch again in slow-motion immediately afterwards just to see how she does it. show more

  • 80
    Wendy IdeScreen International

    Arthouse audiences will be intrigued to discover how Sciamma has channelled the fluid energy of her contemporary work into the more constrained environment of a costume drama. It won’t hurt that this is a strikingly handsome production which will be admired on a technical level. show more

  • 90
    Ben CrollTheWrap

    Visually ravishing ... [A] piercingly intelligent treatise on art, agency and queer love in the 18th century. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com