Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Review

At the end of the eighteenth century in a small isolated island in Brittany, France a female painter must paint the wedding portrait of a young woman without her knowing.

*Original title – Portrait de la jeune fille en feu *


Marianne is the young painter who tells the story of her time in Brittany and the portrait of Héloïse who refused to pose of anyone and this was before her impending marriage to a Milanese nobleman. She had been living in a convent before the marriage and refused to pose because she did not want to be married, following the suicide of her older sister this is something that has to change for her. As they get closer when Héloïse agrees to actually pose for it, after being unimpressed with what she had seen.

Along with the sudden love affair they also help Sophie a young maid working within the house to have an abortion. That scene in particular is very difficult to watch, although in a very differ the way to the rest of the dull film.

Two women brought together by what could only be fate discover that they are drawn to one another in a very passionate and romantic manner. Or at least that is what we are supposed to believe. For me though it just fully felt forced and everything was included to just tick boxes.

When you hear a lot about a film and that it wins so many awards you cannot help but expect to be fully blown away by it and immersed within the story. That is something that did not happen with me for this film, considering I paid extra money to rent it on amazon video I forced myself to keep watching. Which went on over two nights with many pauses. I just did not find anything engaging about it, dull characters and a very boring story. Which I guess means it is beyond disappointing. 

I can be positive on how the film actually looked though as visually it really was stunning at times. Especially the scenes in and around the beach, the colours looked breathtaking. So I guess the fact that it streamed in 4K UHD was amazing just a shame I wasn’t enjoying anything beyond those visuals. This now makes a lot more sense after reading that the film was shot in 8K, so no wonder it actually looked fantastic!

I know this review will be far from popular but I have had to be very honest with how I felt about it and I am left wondering what on earth I have missed from this one when everyone seems to be under the impression that it is a truly outstanding and amazing film?

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