Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

Shines through even the worst viewing conditions (behind someone a head taller than me in those super low Angelika rows, across from another person texting from their $17 seat).

Drawn as I was by how well Sciamma, plus Merlant and Haenel, master the art of gazing and being gazed upon that's so central to queer cinema, no one could prepare me for the gut punch of one final "Turn around." It's a film about artist and muse, after all. Also captures better than most films about this very subject how time dilates with someone in love, and how its presence becomes all too real in those final hours of something transcendent.

Hate to be that person who took a 2 hour bus ride into New York for the clout of seeing the film during its one-week limited run, but this truly is my film of the year. Gonna be thinking about it a lot in the much too long window before it gets a real release.

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