festival program / Knight Marimbas Award

Portrait of a Lady on Fire


Tickets and showtimes available at https://towertheatermiami.com/in-theater/portrait-lady-fire

Set in 18th century Brittany, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is an exquisitely elegant French drama, an enigmatic romance between a painter and her subject. Brilliantly written and directed by Céline Sciamma, Portrait is imbued with an unmistakable female gaze and emotional depth.

Following the unexpected death of her sister, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) is brought back from a convent and betrothed to an unknown man from Milan. Héloïse’s mother, La Comtesse (Valeria Golina), is set on having Héloïse’s portrait painted, but she refuses to pose, in rebellion against the arranged marriage into which she is being forced. So La Comtesse slyly hires Marianne, a rare female professional artist in the period, to secretly paint Héloïse’s portrait, all the while posing as her ostensible companion. Through walks, profound conversations, and long-held, tantalizing looks, the relationship between Héloïse and Marianne evolves with delicacy and intimacy. Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival.

This screening is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and sponsored by TV5MONDE USA.

Director Bio

Céline Sciamma is a French screenwriter and film director. Sciamma's work is strikingly minimalist. While highly formalist and idiosyncratic (notably in her lack of dialogue and very stylized mise-en-scene), Sciamma's filmmaking, beginning with Water Lilies, relates closely to the characteristics of first-time filmmaking in France, notably in its emphasis on coming-of-age films focused on adolescents or pre-adolescents. A common theme in Sciamma's films is the fluidity of gender and sexual identity among girls during this formative period.

Cast & Credits

  • Director(s)
    Céline Sciamma
  • Producer(s)
    Rémi Burah, Véronique Cayla, Bénédicte Couvreur, Olivier Père
  • Screenwriter(s)
    Céline Sciamma
  • Cinematographer(s)
    Claire Mathon
  • Cast
    Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Valeria Golino

Film Info

  • Year
  • Category
  • Original Title
    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
  • Country
  • Run-Time
    120 min
  • Language
  • Subtitles