Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This is the female gaze like you’ve never seen it before. “Portrait”–a film set in Brittany, France in the 18th century–is a showcase of how the depths of insight and poignancy in a work of art comes as a result of the artist having a deep, loving, obsessive understanding of their subject. It is a film about two women on an island with hardly anyone else around them and the painfully, yet deliciously slow romance that materializes from a connection of their minds, bodies, and souls.
The film is thematically rich and daring, yet never once seeks to shove a message or agenda down your throat; it’s a love story, plain and simple. Writer/director Céline Sciamma clearly isn’t interested in subverting history in an effort to appease the needs of a contemporary audience–yet in spite of that, this is a film brimming with human truths. It is reminiscent of the underpinnings and themes found Greek and Gothic literature and poetry. Tender, yet complex and multifaceted–this is in no way a political film, but rather, a subtle social commentary on the kinds of job opportunities available to women in the 18th century. Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire