So much heat… Portrait of A Lady on Fire….
30th November 2019
‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ by Céline Sciamma delivers an elegant romance set in 18th-century Brittany. We see a young painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) hired to paint a rich noblewoman’s daughter’s wedding portrait.
We find Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) unsure about her upcoming marriage and soon she finds solace in Marianne. The film is packed with passion, desire and self discovery. Marianne must find a way to paint the portrait as Héloïse makes it impossible, not willing to allow anyone to paint her ( doesn’t want to get married to some dude she has never met, can’t blame her….). Whilst taking these long beautiful walks together they build a deep bond and Marianne can memorise every feature of her face. She starts to work on the portrait secretly, one that can show her real feelings towards Héloïse, who she is now falling in love with.
The painting is inspired by a moment they share when Héloïse’s dress catches on fire, it symbolises their forbidden love and a cherished memory. The ‘will they, won’t they’ be together storyline will have you gripped while also realising this was a time women were pressured to stay quiet and lady like ( whatever that is) while in great gowns and tight corsets, with pinned hair waiting for a powerful man to make them complete. This film however goes against that with strong female gay characters at the heart, who go against that structure and dare to truly be themselves.