Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

"Do all lovers feel they're inventing something?"

What words I manage to reach vanish on contact, yet the emotions remain, growing tremendously unbearable to contain. Every fleeting moment burns with a memory unabated, a reflection of utter brilliance almost too immaculate to fathom. Where to even begin with artistry so profound and fierce and truly expressive is a place free of contempt and comparison. An enigmatic place, yes, but unquestionably alive and gleaming with both beauty and overwhelming admiration for virtuosity so refined and potent.

There are few films in recent memory as striking and deeply stirring as Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Any review I could conjure would immediately, and understandably, pale in comparison to the vast effect of the filmmaker's haunting work here, intimate toil of awe-inspiring spirit, naturalness, and expertise that's gorgeously rendered by two essential, genuine performances from Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel.

The picture is absolutely staggering, its impression eternal. Portrait of a Lady on Fire may very well be the best film of the year. A sublime achievement for Sciamma, one that peers into the complexities of passion and art and begs you to look back.

"In solitude, I felt the liberty you spoke of. But I also felt your absence."

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