Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★½

This is the one film I really did go into blind. I didn't read or see anything about the film (besides the last 15 seconds of the trailer before a different release) which I think enhanced my experience a bit more. I don't think I can put into cohesive words why I thought this film was so good, but it is something that should truly be felt instead of viewed as an objective piece of film. I mean while this does check every box of fantastic film making in terms of cinematography, acting, style and setting, and plot, this film also has incredible emotional queues, unique scenes, and probably my favorite ending of the year.

The film truly has a distinct style that does emulate a painting and it is visually striking. The set-pieces are perfectly balanced where the scenes inside the house are claustrophobic and dark, while the outdoor scenes by the ocean are expansive and bright. A part of me thinks this is a subtle metaphor to freedom or something, but on the other hand I think the film doesn't really try to say anything and just hones in on a beautiful relationship that is told in such an interesting way in my opinion.

However, the thing I loved the most about this was how it made me feel. It truly was tender in a way that I haven't seen in a while and even in the moments where you are meant to feel pain or solemness, there is this underlying hint of hope that just swept over me. And of the ending was just amazing. I think I need to watch more Céline Sciamma films. Overall, one of the best films of the year and everyone should at least give it a watch.

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