In 18th century France a young painter, Marianne, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowing. Therefore, Marianne must observe her model by day to paint her portrait at night. Day by day, the two women become closer as they share Héloïse's last moments of freedom before the impending wedding.
The literal translation of the original title is, "Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire." One suspects that "the Young Girl" was changed to "a Lady" for the English title of the film in order to evoke the Henry James novel, "The Portrait of a Lady." See more »
Marianne's brushwork is not of the late 18th century; it is a more modern style. See more »
We were walking by the cliffs. She was behind me and vanished. I saw her broken body below.
Did you see her fall?
No. I think she jumped.
Why do you think that?
She didn't cry out.
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Concerto No. 2 for violin in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, L'Estate
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler (director/violin) See more »
I cannot recall the last time I watched a film that had me utterly mesmerised from the very start to the very end without a single interruption. Everything about this film is so lovingly crafted, from the nuanced and commanding central performances to the cinematography and subtly woven storyline - they all combine to produce a genuine piece of cinematic art. The lighting and palette drew inspiration from 18th century paintings, there are scenes in this film that will stay with me fore some time... and the slowly building inevitable climax to the story is heart achingly gratifying. An utterly original and beautiful instant classic that somehow didn't capture the attention of the Oscars Academy!
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