Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★

"Draw me like one of your French girls" takes on a whole new meaning! This film makes portraiture more intimate than I've ever imagined. Each of Marianne's brushstrokes lingered with so much sensuous intensity. She captures in that single gesture onto canvas the necromantic intensity of queer desire, each drawing an approximate facsimile of each and every associated feeling and emotion that comes with it. It's a wondrous film that takes its time to paint its own self-portrait, a pace that nearly fully rewards its captive audience's patience. I say nearly, here, for I did find myself wondering, at times, if each of the many threads the film sows prove entirely essential by that final gut-wrenching final shot. I'm not sure for me they do. However, ultimately Portrait of a Lady on Fire still proves to be a vitally important piece of cinema, one that I am glad to have been able to see in theatres.

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