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Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Review by HER: A Fiery French feminist foreign film about forbidden love

Feb 25, 2020

First of all, this movie is a STUNNING piece of cinematography. From the acting, to the directing, to the camera angles, to the actors actual angles – the HER team could not get enough of this film. Over the weekend we had meetup groups in four different cities (Seattle, NYC, DC and San Diego) to go see the film and here are some of the reviews (and spoilers!).

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

“The film was beautiful. Especially the camera work, which gave you real POV feels. Honestly, I left feeling incredibly sad and the film evokes all the feels. It was a heartbreaking love story that really pulls at your heart.” – Carmen gives this film 4/5 stars

“Spliced in the sapphic love story is deceit, an 18th century forced marriage, an overbearing mother, an abortion earned trust, and patriarchy. I appreciate the cinematography, the acting and the somber climactic ending. The pacing was a bit too slow for my liking.” – Alisson gives this film 4.49/5 stars

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

“The concept of having to watch someone to paint their every move and the way the light reflects off of them from memory is a brilliant concept. I loved that there was no male character in the movie, aside from extras. It’s a bold move, but so often the shoe is on the other foot, it’s refreshing to see that script flipped. I was mildly confused by the maid and kept thinking we were leading up to a threesome. I liked how they worked in her struggles as a straight woman, but it also felt mildly disjointed from the rest of the plot. I was a little bored by yet another old-timey lesbian movie that has a sad ending where one of them marries a man.” – Sue gives this film 3.5/5 stars

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a beautiful depiction of forbidden love and loss. A story that, in many ways, represents the lives of so many and makes you appreciate how far far we’ve come in the LGBTQ+ community.” – Jasmine gives this film a 4.5/5 stars

“As someone who’s first language wasn’t English, seeing queer love in another language was somehow even more beautiful. Beautiful. That’s how I keep describing it to people. The French coast landscape was perfect and so like our California coast. The primitive and pure way of life in that time made the love connection between Heloise and Marianne more intense. The music and art just enhanced the passion. My heart was in my throat the whole time and I was hopeful that somehow they would have their happily ever after.” Melody gives this film 5/5 stars

Find out more about the film here

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