Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

This feels like the kind of film that makes someone interested in film. You know, beyond the popcorn-film-interest and more into the arts and crafts of filmmaking and personal and intimate storytelling through cinema. I'm not one hundred percent sure what that film was for me around a decade ago, but if it hadn't already happened by now it's quite possible this would be it. That may make this film sound excessively artsy in a bad way. We've all seen examples where the film tries to outsmart and talk down on its audience and say only the true enthusiasts get it and that isn't what this is.

My point is that it's hard to recommend films like this to friends or family who don't watch more than a film or two in cinemas each year. It's French, has a relatively unknown cast and crew, and most importantly it's about something that's hard to summarize in a catchy elevator pitch. But listen, I'm not saying popcorn movies are bad for the medium, and I'm not saying anyone has to have the same taste. I mean I went straight into a showing of the new Star Wars just fifteen minutes after I watched this. I like the big blockbusters, too. I'm just saying you can have it both ways.

Hell, even I had no idea about this film and I'm obsessed with the medium. This was entirely a blind watch for me - and I adored it. That's the real reason I'm off topic and ranting about cinema in general terms, because I won't say anything about what this movie is. I wish that was enough of a recommendation though. Saying to someone; go in and watch this blind, no trailers no nothing. And maybe, just maybe - despite not knowing what it is, despite the fact that it may underwhelm you - maybe you'll discover something unexpected and great. I think that's well worth the risk.

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