Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Портрет девушки в огне
Marianne is commissioned to paint a portrait of Eloise, a recluse forced into marriage by her family, and slowly falls in love with her model. This intimate melodrama about forbidden love won the Best Screenplay award at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

In the middle of the 18th century, Héloïse, who has been brought up in a monastery, is being prepared for marriage. Her fiancé’s family are expecting a portrait of the future bride. But Héloïse does not want to get married, and nor will she sit for a portrait. Marianne, the artist commissioned by Héloïse’s parents, has to work on the painting in secret. And while arguing about Ovid, playing the harpsichord, and walking along the coast of Brittany, the two young women fall in love.

As well as being a story about two women falling in love at a time when same-sex relationships were not accepted, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a meditation on art, which can rise above life’s circumstances. Time passes and the couple breaks up, the women get married, grow up, and live on, but the portrait remains as a souvenir of an impossible love.
2019, France, 119 min., 18+
Céline Sciamma
Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
French, Italian
Awards & Festivals
  • Cannes Film Festival – Best Screenplay, Queer Palm
  • BAFTA nomination – Best Film not in the English language
  • Golden Globe Awards nomination – Best Foreign Language Motion Picture
  • Melbourne International Film Festival – Best Narrative Feature 
  • Norwegian International Film Festival – Norwegian Film Critics Award
  • Jerusalem Film Festival – participation
  • Sydney Film Festival – participation

Currently on screen