Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

LIFF 2019 #5

Had to see this again. There aren't enough superlatives in the world to lavish upon this film. After two viewings in three days, I can't find a single flaw - and I'm not talking broad flaws either; there isn't a word, frame or movement even slightly less than perfect in this film.

I am prone to using a lot of superlatives when discussing films I love, but perfect is seldom one of them. I'll use perfect freely here though because I'm absolutely convinced that's what Portrait is.

Sciamma, Merlant and Haenel have absolutely floored me with this. I can't even get my head around it, I'm just content to sit in awe of it and let it wash over me at the minute. One of the most beautiful scripts I've ever seen put to screen, and the craft is next level across the board.

You know that sort of transcendent feeling you occasionally get when you see a piece of art, a natural wonder or a momentous event? That's what I've felt watching this both times now. Moving beyond words, and it's fitting that it should end with one of the most staggering, cathartic and devastating final scenes I can recall. Unbelievable.

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