Portrait of A Lady on Fire
Set in 18th century France, Marianne, a young painter, is commissioned to paint a wedding portrait of a young noblewoman and reluctant bride to be, Héloïse. Knowing that Héloïse has just come out of a convent and has previously refused to sit for portraits, Marianne disguises herself as the lady’s companion by day in order to paint her portrait from memory by night.

Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women, they ignite in each other feelings that are passionate yet forbidden. As they share Héloïse’s first and last moments of freedom, all whilst Marianne paints the portrait that will end it all.

Drawing on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, director Céline Sciamma flips the male gaze in Hitchcock’s Vertigo and presents a film that is based entirely on the female gaze: a gaze of artistic appropriation, of inquisition, and of unstoppable desires.
Celine Sciamma
Adele Haenel , Noemie Merlant , Valeria Golino
Release Date
Run Time
121 minutes
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