France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because Héloïse 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.
In French with English subtitles.
“A subtle and thrilling love story, at once unsentimental in its realistic assessment of women’s circumstances and almost utopian in its celebration of the freedom that is nonetheless available to them.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times
“True to its title, Portrait of a Lady on Fire generates more than its share of heat…” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“It’s a great example of how a well-told story, with vivid characters, can seep right into your bones and keep you thinking for days afterward—and the pleasure felt while watching it isn’t negligible either.” — Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine
Céline Sciamma (screenplay)
Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino