Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★½

I don't know what it was about the film in particular, the performances that ring true and emotional at the highest level, the images that feel warm and inviting but also mysterious and contemplative or the music that is as scarce as I've ever heard in a film but when it plays, it pulls on your heart strings with all its might and shakes you to the core, rushing over you like a giant tidal wave of emotions. Maybe it's a simple phrase:

"Turn around."

One thing is abundantly clear though and that's the fact that Céline Sciamma has needed all but two films so far to make her way deep into my heart and into my emotional brain. Something seems to click when I watch her films and where a period piece about one woman painting another could have easily been exhausting or uneventful, Sciamma turns it into a fiery romance but the fire is contained, if barely, underneath the surface and it's running wild.

If you want to see, or rather hear, how someone can make you feel like you're hearing something as iconic and instantly recognizable as Vivaldi's The Four Seasons for the first time, this may just be the right film for you.

Ralf liked these reviews