Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★

I can't say that I loved this like everyone else, but I appreciate it. The main romance is convincing as both the leads, Adele Haenel and Noemie Merlant, have great chemistry with each other as Heloise and Marianne, respectively. Even with as slow and ponderous as it could get, I could understand the connection between them even if it didn't connect with me personally. It's all about the little moments for me though like how the two bond with the maid throughout. I just like how even though they come from different social statuses, they do have respect and sincerity for each other. It's a movie where women are just getting along and there's no ridiculous setup for them to battle against each other which would totally be a thing in a lesser director's hands. The moment where they went to the bonfire was good. This movie is good when it's just women being humans being chicks. It was also nice to see Valeria Golino in a movie again as Heloise's mom, at least something that I had watched in some time.

The story itself is fine, but it's more of a character study. I was ready to give this a 2 1/2 for the first half cause it was losin' me and I was like where is this going to go, movie? I was fighting the temptation to look at my phone and I was losing. I eventually started to gain interest as the two leads' relationship was building and the little drama with the painting was resolved and actually allows the two to bond. I still wasn't wholly connected but the acting was great and the visuals are impressive. There's just these little conversations throughout that sort of grabbed me enough to make me forget how long this felt. It's not made for me exactly, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I liked it enough to finish it and I appreciated what it was doing because I can tell there's something special here for somebody. Even if I feel like I couldn't totally connect to what it was doing, director/writer Celine Sciamma has a lot of sincerity for the characters she's creating and the connections they make towards each other.

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