Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★★

So I ordered the blu-ray online having heard incredible stuff about it, but never having seen it myself. I was going purely off of my good faith in the Letterboxd community that this must be a pretty damn good film -there also might have been a sale, but that's beside the point- and woah what a damn good film this is!

Lately I've been chipping away at my Criterion Challenge 2021 list, and while I definitely recommend everyone expose themselves to high art, I'll admit it can feel like a slog sometimes. Whether it be barriers of time or culture, there's plenty of daring critical darlings that just leave me scratching my head. At times, it can feel like your first time in an art gallery, "Oh wow, that looks pretty! I don't know what it means... but it sure is pretty!" That's definitely a me issue though. There's plenty of incredible films that speak a language all their own, leaving it to viewers and historians to translate to their hearts' content. I'm just glad that this one didn't take much translation for me to see just how fantastic it is.

This is one of those movies you can engage with immediately on a surface level (it looks and sounds sublime) while subtly feeling the pull of a deeply intimate love story. While you're watching, you'll know there's a truly profound reason for why this movie affects you so, even if you have no concrete footing on what that reason is. Nevertheless, you feel it.

No one needs to explain to me why I love this movie, and that's why I love it.

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