Movieman97’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a film that says so much by saying very little. It’s a quiet, intimate, and meditative piece of work that lets its visuals, sense of place and all-around aura bring such greater depth and larger context into presenting a deeply revealing connection that’s slowly brewing between our two main characters. And with Céline Sciamma’s beautifully pristine direction at the helm, along with two of the most electric, breathtaking lead performances I’ve seen in recent memory from the equally luminous Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant, it creates such an arresting, transcendent cinematic experience that sweeps the viewer into a whirlwind of emotions that’s fully captivating at every moment. Every shot is stunningly gorgeous, every line of dialogue isn’t wasted, every little glance or stare each character gives means something important, and literally everything else in between bursts to life with such palpable craft and beauty. And all in all, it’s also a near-heartbreaking film about longing, passion, and forbidden love explored in the most human and delicate of ways, serving as a near flawless work of art that will definitely stay in my mind and heart for years to come. Simply put, it’s one of the best romantic masterpieces of our time.