Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

i can't believe i was so dumb and gave this four stars. i have since become smarter and now understand that this film is actually a masterclass in screenwriting. sciamma knows how to write cinematic moments which is, in my opinion, the most important element of strong filmmaking. it's what film is! showing us a story, not telling. we're watching pictures. this film has so many great examples of this, but my favorite might be when sophie is having her abortion and a baby is lying right next to her, holding her hand. it's so brilliant. there are so many other strong cinematic moments too: all of the prolonged gazes, the second glances, the MIRROR, HÉLOÏSE IN THE WHITE DRESS, etc.

this film utilizes setup and payoff really well, i'm actually very jealous and inspired. there's just so much to unpack. the immortalization of an experience through art, which in itself is directly related to memory, which leads to marianne's point she makes after héloïse finishes reading the story of orpheus and eurydice, "he doesn't make the lover's choice, but the poet's," which circles back to the end of the film when marianne immediately turns around to look at héloïse like what the fuck céline sciamma who are you and why are you such a good writer. i didn't even talk about page 28 or vivaldi there's just too many great things about this film it's too fucking much it's too good

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