Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

"What do you hope that [last] shot leaves the audience with?"
"Themselves."

I'll never forget how I felt the first time I watched this movie end; everything inside me was still transfixed on that screen when it cut to black. Every inch of me felt on edge. Smiling, crying, in awe. I've never felt so viscerally present in my body if that makes any damn sense. And it doesn't make it easier when it plays the bonfire song that takes you back to that perfect scene. Cèline sure as hell accomplished what she wanted with that last shot.

What I love most about this movie is that I can actually see Marianne and Héloïse falling in love with each other. The closest thing I can compare it to is what I feel like when I watch Before Sunrise. They're stubborn and guarded for literally half the damn movie and it's their understanding of each other as women and individuals that brings them together. And all of that is a testament to how much of a difference it makes when a lesbian writes and directs a lesbian love story. this would not be what it was if not for Cèline Sciamma. Big ups to her and Claire Mathon for this masterpiece.

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