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

Critics Consensus

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

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 127

91%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 22
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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 (127) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (123) | Rotten (4)

  • 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.

    Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's a visual masterpiece... The cinematography by Claire Mathon is stunning [and] the acting is wonderful.

    Dec 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.

    Dec 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.

    Dec 5, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 5, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire -- the fire is figurative, but also real -- goes beyond painterly beauty. It sees into souls.

    Dec 5, 2019 | Full Review…

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

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