Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is constantly acting against the human love story it wants to convey. Shot almost entirely in medium close-ups and close-ups, often separating the characters when we should be getting a sense of them together, the movie feels sterile and distant. The conversations we experience are merely the idea of conversations. Every moment is thought out in a way that feels like the characters themselves premeditated them. Overwrought with symbology, they say exactly what the writer wants them to say, they don’t feel like humans, they feel like drama robots that are programmed to say the most dramatic things. Humanity is not knowing what the fuck you’re doing, love is not knowing what the fuck we’re doing and this movie operates with too much confidence to communicate either.

1/2 star added for the last shot, which was the first time the movie surprised me.

Joel liked these reviews