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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Portrait of a Lady on Fire A Well Made Crafted Romantic Tale Grade: B+

Source: IMDB

Portrait of a Lady on Fire tells a story about a painter Marianne (Noemie Merlant) whom travels to an isolated island, as the task is to paint a wedding portrait of Heloise (Adele Haenel). Heloise is extremely difficult to capture a portrait of, made many painters before Marianne quit. It'll take a lot of attention, trust, and even lust to bring Heloise into giving in to letting Marianne painting a portrait of her. The Cinematography was pretty lovely, really enjoyed how the film captures the beauty of this island. Lovely shots of Heloise's home and lovely shots of the paintings indeed. The Score was solid as well, LOVED the music playing during that campfire sequence, honestly should've been nominated over that Frozen 2 song. The cast in this film all in all were pretty good as a whole. Of course the main show of this film is between Noemie Merlant and Adele Haenel playing Marianne and Heloise, t'was great performances by those two. Well written characters, you learn a great amount of detail of whom they are and what purpose they bring to each other. Before Heloise, Marianne didn't find much within the standards of love, as her main focus was just painting. While before Marianne, Heloise would feel a great amount of insecurity within herself. It would take a great deal for Heloise to get out of her room and just work with people. Heloise provided love that Marianne never thought she would have, while Marianne provided security to Heloise's well being. Maybe I'm explaining the characters as simply as one can make out of them, but surely that's what I got out of both of them. I do have a flaw with this film and that's the house maid during some unusual sequences. It involves her laying down, while someone goes lays their hand down on her. I couldn't quite make of what was going on, especially afterwards when Marianne was painting the exact position the maid was in... The entire thing for me left me confused, as I would rather go back to Marianne and Heloise only. This film has been on my radar for quite awhile, as it was raved at the Cannes festival and raved by critics everywhere. There was a one night showing sneak preview of this film, as I had to go see it myself. This film will be included in my Best of 2020 films list if it ends up there at the end of the year, instead of 2019 due to being released in February this year. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is not only an enjoyable drama, but an enjoyable romantic film as well. The films main theme is forbidden love, as it's capture quite beautifully in this film. I felt the dialogue was very strong in this film, as it digs deep into our hearts watching these two women fall for each other. The story kept me at interest the entire run time, sure it drags here and there maybe a couple times, but it's a very satisfying tale. I found the conclusion of the film bittersweet, but it's such a perfect way to conclude a film like this one. I think many people can find enjoyment within it's simple tale, it's a well made crafted film that'll leave audiences floored. Overall, Portrait of a Lady on Fire was a pretty good film. I recommend checking this one. -Mitch Smietana

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