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Review of ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’

Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant star in Céline Sciamma’s period film that won Best Screenplay at Cannes.

    Do lovers always feel like they’re making something up? wonders the maiden played by Adèle Haenel. Do lovers, then, behave like artists? Creating is the art of loving, and perhaps the emotional intensity of this excellent film comes from the conviction with which this act of faith is doubled between clandestine passions and magical sorority. On the one hand, there is the way in which Sciamma, Haenel’s partner in real life, films the woman he loves, and, on the other, there is the way in which a painter represents from memory the image of the woman she fall in love

    The game of mirrors is served, although the film, of extraordinary subtlety, never forces it. The film talks about the invention of love in a time when women existed only to be looked at, desired or despised by men. The absence of the masculine, together with a tone that oscillates between the gothic and the romantic tale, makes the love process that we witness both enigmatic and sensual, but the most beautiful thing about the film is knowing how to represent how we will remember that infatuation , how we will convert it into pure memory that no social convention will be able to steal from us.

    For those who think that creation is an act of love.

    The best: that love is in the camera lens, and that it merges with the gazes of Merlant and Haenel.

    The worst: being compared to ‘La vida de Adèle’.

    DATA SHEET

    Address: Celine Sciamma Distribution: Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino, Cécile Morel Original title: Portrait of the young girl in feu
    Country: France Year: 2019 Release date: 18-10-2019 Gender: Drama Script: Celine Sciamma Duration: 120 min.

    Synopsis: France, 1770. Marianne, a painter, receives a commission to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent and who has serious doubts about her next marriage. Marianne has to portray her without her knowledge, so she investigates her daily.

    Source: Fotogramas

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