Winner – Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival 2019
Romance and art entwine in PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, a sumptuous new masterpiece from Céline Sciamma (TOMBOY, GIRLHOOD).
Set in late 18th century France, painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by an affluent countess to paint the wedding portrait of her sheltered but headstrong daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), in the hope it will find her a wealthy husband.
While posing as her hired companion, Marianne is instructed to complete the portrait in secret, observing Héloïse by day and painting her by night. However, as the two women grow closer, their intimacy and attraction begins to blossom, paving the way for a simmering, star-crossed romance.
A heartbreaking period piece told with a distinctly modern feminist energy, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is the first female-directed film to win the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, where it also won the Best Screenplay award.
Cannes Film Festival 2019
Telluride Film Festival 2019
Toronto International Film Festival 2019
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2019
BFI London Film Festival 2019
Cork Film Festival 2019
IFI French Film Festival 2019
Tallin Black Nights Film Festival 2019
★★★★★ Céline Sciamma’s gripping 18th-century story of obsession demonstrates a new mastery of classical style.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, Cannes Film Festival 2019
★★★★★ Sciamma’s gorgeous romantic film concerns itself almost entirely with the unseen powers of the gaze. Through quiet, contemplative scenes – with the camera often left to rest on a close-up – we’re invited to study these women, just as they are studying each other.
Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent, BFI London Film Festival 2019