FIN Review: Lady On Fire creates an immersive portrait

This film is one of the most intense, gorgeous portrayals of forbidden love to ever hit the screen.

This French-language piece lands us in Brittany, on an isolated island during the 1800’s. A female painter has been commissioned to complete a wedding portrait of a young woman, who is totally unwilling to pose.

Marianne begins to paint Héloïse in secret, and the two share a large manor with servant Sophie, a young, precocious girl who becomes close with the two women.

But as tensions rise and feelings begin to bubble over between Marianne and Héloïse, revelations are pushed to the fore and the lie about why the former is actually staying in the manor threatens to ruin their relationship.

The central performances from Noemie Merlant and Adele Haenal are fire, and the two have an insatiable, undeniable chemistry. It’s a superb, emotional drama full of sensuous performances.

The leads are awards-worthy, and the screenplay is pitch-perfect. This is one of the best FIN Atlantic International Film Festival offerings I’ve seen in years. Expect Oscar buzz upon its theatrical release.

5/5 Stars

 

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