You may not yet be familiar with PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, though the period drama was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award. That's because the French film opened in its home country before it was released in select U.S. theatres in December. But now, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is expanding, so audiences nationwide can experience the elegant love story.
In 1760 France, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of reluctant bride-to-be Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). Under the guise of companionship, Marianne observes Héloïse by day and secretly paints her by firelight at night. But as the two share intimate moments together, their attraction grows, and soon Héloïse's portrait becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.
The basis of the story is enough to draw you in. An affair between two women, and of different classes, in the late 18th century is ripe for compelling drama. On top of that, every piece of PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is polished. The isolated Brittany setting is breathtaking; the authentic period dresses are exquisite; and the performances from the two leads are subtle, yet powerful.
For the accomplishment, writer/director Céline Sciamma received the Best Screenplay award at Cannes Film Festival, as well as became the first woman to win the Queer Palm. The National Board of Review also named PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE one of the Top Five Foreign Language Films of 2019.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE must be seen in theatres on the big screen. If the period drama is not yet playing at an AMC near you, check back for tickets as the film expands over the coming weeks.