Portrait of a Lady on Fire

"A masterpiece. A devastatingly unforgettable story of love and memory." - Indiewire

Brittany, France, 1760. Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young lady who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day and secretly paints her at night. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women as they share Héloïse’s first and last moments of freedom, all whilst Marianne paints the portrait that will end it all.

Director Céline Sciamma (Water Lilies, Cannes 2007 Un Certain Regard; Tomboy, Berlin 2011 Jury Prize; Girlhood, Cannes 2014 Directors’ Fortnight Opening Film; My Life As a Zucchini, Cannes 2016 Directors’ Fortnight, Cesar Award for Best Screenplay) reunites with Award-winning actress Adèle Haenel for an intimate and deeply moving period drama.

Winner: Best Screenplay, Cannes 2019

“A Masterpiece. A devastatingly unforgettable story of love and memory. As perfect a film as any to have premiered this year. Razor-sharp and shatteringly romantic. A profoundly tender story about the process of self-discovery and becoming. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a period romance that’s traditional in some ways, progressive in others, and altogether so damn true that it might feel more like staring into a mirror than it does running your eyes over a canvas. The film expresses that discovery as vividly as any that’s ever been made, as the drama’s spartan backdrop only adds to the intensity of its blaze. An unforgettable film that cooks at a low simmer until going incandescent in its closing minutes. It’s a magnificent love story about how our formative romances can shape us and sweep us forward, whether we have to move along because life presents us an opportunity or if we have to move on because life denies us a million more. It’s a film that captures the feeling you get from the last scene of 'Roman Holiday' and stretches it over a full two hours in which not a single moment is wasted.” - David Ehrlich, Indiewire

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