Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020)

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Critic Consensus: A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance.

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Movie Info

France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she 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.

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Critic Reviews for Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu)

All Critics (159) | Top Critics (28)

Despite the contained setting, the film has an epic quality, as well as a romantic intensity that marks a major leap forward from Sciamma's previous films Tomboy and Water Lillies.

December 23, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Sciamma's work with the actors here reflects an inspired effort-going far beyond costume and décor-to evoke the inner life of the historical period.

December 13, 2019 | Full Review…

This is a film I admired more than I liked... I just found the film to be too hyper-staged and too artfully constructed to make an emotional connection.

December 6, 2019 | Full Review…

It's a visual masterpiece... The cinematography by Claire Mathon is stunning [and] the acting is wonderful.

December 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Heloise and Marianne, and the way their ardor is allowed to slowly unfold onscreen is both heartwarming and, given the dismal prospects for a future together, heartbreaking.

December 6, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Though the film sizzles with an erotic heat that grows from initial repression, Sciamma is not pedaling softcore lesbian porn. Her transfixing film, about the heady experience of an impossible first love, is a timeless work of art.

December 5, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

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