Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★

There is something in the staging and narrative of Portrait of a Lady on Fire that proceeds in the exact opposite direction to that of the story told in the film. The packaging is certainly flawless, characterized as it is by a great aesthetic rigor, a measured and extremely thoughtful writing, a direction that pays attention to detail and a well-kept photograph. The film accumulates great silences and long waits, dilated rhythms and sipped dialogues, delicate tones and cultured references both to literature and to art (think of the tributes to Flemish painting); finally, there is no lack of allusions to the topicality of the feminist discourse. However, it is so imprisoned by ostentatious formal research that it forgets to remain close to its characters. The result is a perfect calligraphic reconstruction that finds its limit in the rhetoric of perfection, ending up by telling of a excruciating passion without passion and by investigating the relationship between image and truth with a certain dose of artificiality.

Qui la recensione in italiano.

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