10 Best Portrait of a Lady on Fire Moments

Portrait painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) has been commissioned to paint an extremely reluctant Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) for a prospective husband. A match arranged by Héloïse’s mother (Valeria Golino), not Héloïse.

Witten and directed by the acclaimed Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) is a slow burn of repressed desire, passion and love. It is a sensory delight.

The isolated island setting, the stiff fabric of the eighteenth-century costumes, and the strict social conventions of the time all build layers of oppression for the two women to shrug off.

It is a love story, yes, but it is also so much more. It is a story about women at a time when their stories weren’t deemed important.

In this Movie List from The Film Magazine, we are counting down the most beautiful, impactful, and unforgettable moments from Céline Sciamma’s romantic masterpiece, for this: the 10 Best Portrait of a Lady on Fire Moments.

Follow @thefilmagazine on X (Twitter).

10. The Art Class

The opening sequence of the film sees Marianne (Noémie Merlant) delivering an art class. The camera pans around the room, showing a selection of attentive students. And of course, every single one of them is a woman. What better way to set the tone of a film all about the female gaze?

9. Diving Into the Sea

As Marianne’s art supplies fall off the boat and into the sea, she looks at the crew (the only men present in the film) who stare blankly back. Realising they intend to do nothing, she dives in to the choppy water to retrieve it.

Marianne has barely spoken a word yet, but we suddenly know so much about her. She is driven, decisive and fearless.

Recommended for you: Portrait of a Lady on Fire Review

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Comment