Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★½

london film festival 2019: film twenty-seven
special presentation bfi flare

a little underwhelming without being a total disappointment, the portrait of a lady on fire is precise to a fault. for a film about a blossoming love, it’s so cold for the first half, calculating in its filmmaking and lacking the spark it really needs. thankfully, love’s embers light up the second half and the performances are both wonderfully compelling. if only the warmth of the titular fire could be found in the opening hour.

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