Movie Review: "Portrait of a Lady on Fire"

Author: O'Neil, Alison

Movie Review:

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” a French film starring Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant, offers a compelling storyline complete with visually rich cinematography and stirring romance. When young painter Marianne (Merlant) arrives at her new commissioner’s isolated beachside mansion, she must begin her assignment of painting the beautiful and melancholic Héloïse (Haenel), who is engaged to a wealthy foreigner at the behest of her mother. Marianne must create the portrait of Héloïse without her subject noticing, leading to the development of a forbidden and passionate romance between the artist and her muse. While technically a “period drama,” Portrait’s complex characters and stunning shots — composed much like paintings themselves — give the audience a window into a world that seems almost timeless. The 2019 film is currently available on Hulu.