Nolio’s review published on Letterboxd:
FINALLY watched this. I meant to view this during the beginning of the year and then everything got shut down, thanks to the Vid. I really wish that I could've seen this in a theater, but the fact I saw it at all is good enough for now. I'll be on the lookout for future screenings though.
This goes from an interesting story in the beginning to a bittersweet romance in the middle to a pretty sad ending, honestly. But the sadness and the longing is what makes this such an intimate tale. Céline Sciamma has created a warm, pulsating environment that is accentuated by lively flames, crashing waves, skids of a paintbrush and the portrait of an unmatchable bond by two women who happen to meet in the right place at the right time. However brief their congregation, the connection formed by our characters is as genuine as ever. The love they share is a blip in the periodic age of the past, fabricating itself as a gleaming relic amongst dusty, intangible memories. The chemistry of our characters in simply believable in every sense of the word.
The film is warm, and it will grasp you until the very end. The minimalism and scarce dialogue helps with that. You can really tell the screenplay is what makes this work the most because it isn't so much the words that make this experience profound, but more so the gestures, looks and traits these women encompass that make them feel like real people that we should be rooting for in the story. Then again, the minimal dialogue that is in the film is poetic; questions are subsequently raised mostly about love and what it is.
I could go on but as far as I'm concerned, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a film that you should watch to get a better understanding of what it means. The messages are not grand, but quietly true to the bond people share during this short life.