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.
R, 121 min.
"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." - IndieWire
"It is so very easy to label a film incendiary, but Portrait of a Lady on Fire deserves the scalding honour. It will ignite every flame you might have." - Globe and Mail
"The fire burns slowly, but there's no lack of heat in Celine Sciamma's period love story." - The Age
"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." - TIME
"Far from some stuffy costume drama, it's a deeply stirring romance with a modern soul, and also a forcefully, compassionately feminist one..." - AV Club
"Not a moment in Portrait of a Lady on Fire is wasted, which suits a story about lovers without a moment to lose." - Hollywood Reporter
"It's a quiet and deceptively slow film, at times featuring so little sound that one can almost hear the characters' hearts fluttering. The pay-off, in a final 20 minutes of simply exquisite, cathartic cinema, is one for the history books." - New Zealand Herald