We were quite taken with Portrait Of A Lady On Fire at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, calling Céline Sciamma’s new film “rapturously romantic and sexy.” Set in France in 1760, the story follows an artist, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), who’s hired to paint a portrait of Héloïse, the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat who’s soon to be married off to an interested suitor. The suitor needs the painting to get a sense of Héloïse’s looks, but Héloïse isn’t interested in being painted, meaning Marianne must compose her portrait in secret. Marianne gets close to her for the purpose of memorizing her face, but things get complicated when intimacy blossoms between the pair.
“Unfolding through stolen glimpses and increasingly loaded glances, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is really a portrait of a mutual, slow-motion seduction,” reads our review, “and it seduces its audience just as gradually and effectively, pulling us into its old world with the beauty of its images and the quiet efficiency of its storytelling.”
Watch a new trailer for the film above ahead of its opening on December 6.