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Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JoeStemme, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Message #1 of 6 Jan 12, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2020
    JoeStemme

    JoeStemme Agent

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    [​IMG]
    Title: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

    Tagline: Don't regret. Remember.

    Genre: Drama, Romance, History

    Director: Céline Sciamma

    Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino, Christel Baras, Armande Boulanger, Guy Delamarche, Clément Bouyssou

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 119

    Plot: On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.




    Celine Sciamma's delicately rendered tale of the attraction between a Painter and her subject is a slow burn, but, it ignites nonetheless. Marianne (Noemie Merlant) is commissioned by a Comtesse (the always luminous Valeria Golino) to paint a portrait of her puzzling daughter Héloïse (Adele Haenel), but, there is an obstacle -- Héloïse won't pose. Marianne must act as a guest who simply observes her elusive subject by day, and paint at night.
    Soon the 'observations' become an attraction as Marianne studies not only Héloïse's physical features, but, her manners and bearing. Sciamma (who also wrote the screenplay) takes her time. The pas de deux of the two women is allowed to develop even while there is a supposed deadline to complete the secret painting.

    It's an exquisite balance abetted by Cinematographer Claire Mathon. Together, Sciamma and her camerawoman create a lovely mood. The framing, lighting and positioning of the actresses can justifiably be termed 'painterly', but, it rarely comes off as self-consciously so. There is no musical score but the two pieces of music (one composed for the film by Para One, the other, Vivaldi's Four Seasons) are essential to the structure of the movie. Still, by having the vast majority of the run-time sans any background score, it forces the viewer to remain intimately involved with women on screen, with even the long patches of utter silence drawing one it.
    As artfully produced as the movie is, it falls upon the lead actresses to carry it off (the only other significant character is a Maid (Luana Barjami). Merlant and Haenel do so, touchingly. Haenel has shown her talents in such pictures as B.P.M. and the Dardennes' UNKNOWN GIRL, but Merlant is just as fine here in a trickier role.

    PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is a beautifully wrought chamber piece which lingers in the mind. Like it's enigmatic title, it's a movie that haunts.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8613070/reference
     
  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Where did you see this? I have no idea when it is coming here but would love to see it.
     
  3. JoeStemme

    JoeStemme Agent

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    I came out for Oscar consideration briefly. It will be released again on Feb . 10th
     
  4. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    Out of all the 300 or so movies I saw last year, this one was the best. An unexpected Brokeback Mountain romance, but in 18th century France, between two women.
     
  5. JoeStemme

    JoeStemme Agent

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    It will be in my Top 10, too
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    We get this here at the end of February so I'll be seeing it then.
     

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