Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Guest Speaker)

June 2

Celine Sciamma’s (Girlhood, Water Lilies)  exquisite period drama explores the female gaze in 18th century France. The director is known for her ability to capture female desire and emotional realism on screen. She is in her element here as young artist Marianne arrives on a windswept island, commissioned to paint an engagement portrait of the recently bereaved Héloïse, without her knowledge. What at first appears to be a straightforward drama turns by degree in to something of taut thriller, cerebral, disquieting and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.  We’re pleased to welcome back Ginette Vincendeau, author and commentator on contemporary French cinema, for Q&A.

‘Haunting and downright revolutionary … thoughtful and tender romance.’

Isabel Stevens, Sight & Sound

2 Cannes wins including Best Screenplay (Celine Sciamma)  and 17 other awards 


Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami

Film Information

Title Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Guest Speaker)
Directed by Celine Sciamma
Country France
Classification 15
Running Time 119 mins
Release Year 2019
Subtitles Yes
Colour Yes