Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★½

A masterclass in sexual and emotional tension. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel give two of the best performances of the decade, and they're at their most powerful when simply staring at each other. Both women ooze with charisma and character. Their attraction so believable, the situation realistically handled. It dips into the wonderment of love without succumbing to ludicrous melodrama and false happy endings. The film itself looks as beautiful as its story—sumptuous locations, careful , meaningful shots, and a sound design of crackling fire to get lost in. Magic.