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


Rafael 1 Wed, Oct 9, 2019 3:00 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:119 min.
Director:Céline Sciamma
Producer:Véronique Cayla
Bénédicte Couvreur
Screenwriter:Céline Sciamma
Cinematographer:Claire Mathon
Editor:Julien Lacheray
Cast:Noémie Merlant
Adèle Haenel
Luàna Bajrami
Valeria Golino
Print Source:Neon


Following such exceptional works as Water Lilies, Tomboy, and Girlhood, Céline Sciamma’s fourth feature is a staggering masterwork of indelible artistry, uncompromising vision, and emotional power. Gifted painter Marianne (a revelatory Noémie Merlant) arrives on a remote island to render the wedding portrait of Héloïse (a haunting Adèle Haenel, who made a splash as the object of affection in Sciamma’s feature debut Water Lilies) without the latter's knowledge or permission. As Marianne studies her subject's movements and moods, an intense bond starts to take hold with unexpected results. With a visual and emotional power reminiscent of Jane Campion’s The Piano (still the only film directed by a woman to win the Palme d’Or) and ample support from both veteran Italian actress Valeria Golino (Daughter of Mine, MVFF 2018) and promising newcomer Luàna Bajrami (School’s Out) who round out four-person cast, the smoldering Portrait of a Lady on Fire was the talk of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, claiming the Best Screenplay prize and the Queer Palm—the first time the prize for the latter was awarded to a woman.

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Additional Information

Céline Sciamma was born on November 12, 1980 in Pontoise, Val-d'Oise, France. She is a writer and director, known for Tomboy (2011), which won the Teddy at the Berlin International Film Festival; Water Lilies (2007); and Girlhood (2014). She won a César for Best Adapted Screenplay for Claude Barras’ My Life as a Zucchini (2016). Her latest film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) won the Best Screenplay and Queer Palm prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.