🔴 A Female Painter Is Obliged To Paint A Wedding Portrait Of A Young Woman Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
Date: 2020-02-27 11:11:17
Viewed: 177 times - 5 hour, 7 minute, 51 second ago
Marianna (Noémie Merlant) recommends that her students pay attention to their hands. He is teaching them the art of portraiture, a typology that, more than others, requires out of scale attention to detail. It will be up to us to return. Then we see her on board a boat, only to throw herself into the water to save one of her paintings; shortly thereafter she will be left on a beach, through which there is the house where she will spend the next few days.
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (hereinafter Portrait of a Lady on Fire) represents a remarkable change for Céline Sciamma, talented screenwriter and director whose penultimate work, Black Diamond, was one of the most interesting titles of that vintage ( it was 2014). His debut in Cannes Competition comes by virtue of a film that marks a clear change compared to what has been done so far, making a film in costume. Marianna is in fact a painter in France of a century, the eighteenth, who does not offer who knows what opportunities to a woman, still anything but emancipated. La Sciamma beats a lot on this point: just two men in the whole film, with marginal roles, to appear.
We speak therefore of a film of women only, through the gaze, one of many possible, of a woman. Portrait of a Lady on Fire almost entirely avoids sustained rhythms, which are waived in advance not by habit but by program: it is in fact a succession of events through which you want to build something in a barely perceptible way. That something is the sexual tension between Marianna and Héloïse (Adéle Haenel). The latter is the daughter of a countess (Valeria Golino) who is about to marry her; but first he wants to make her do a portrait.
Behind the rigor of the Swarm, however, there is more form than substance. You are extremely skilled not so much in maintaining the tension mentioned above, which certainly is felt but which at the same time does not prove so overwhelming, as in relation to that process on which the film rests, perhaps even more than the love story between the two young people. Reconnecting to what has been highlighted above with respect to attention to detail, in the story, which we experience through Marianna's eyes, there is a sort of manifesto for aspiring artists. Art is work, dedication, persistence, all qualities that the beautiful painter possesses. When in the end an elderly gentleman notices a small but substantial difference between the Orpheus and Eurydice painted by Marianna and all those who have seen each other so far, something more sensible and interesting is said rather than the rhetoric not infrequently stale about genius and talent.
And there is a moment when such a concept the Swarm manages to transport it on the other of the two main tracks, namely that of the slow and inexorable rapprochement between Marianna and Héloïse. When the so-called professionalism changes in love for the object under consideration, and then the two exchange notes on the other, those details in the gestures and ways that betray the immoderate mutual interest. A nice way to move on to the next step, an implicit declaration, much more elegant than mere clinging or resorting to sweet sentences.
The pleasure that derives from it, however, works on a far less visceral level than one would like, more intellectual, almost speculative. Where Portrait of a Lady on Fire is likely to hit us is in those impromptu apparitions of Héloïse dressed as a bride, mystical images that refer to an imminent danger, that of the gallows that for both women represents the marriage of Héloïse. However, the process proves exhausting, the austere estate not counterbalanced by elements and suggestions that go beyond the understandable claims compared to an era in which the woman really could not aspire to anything other than being a servant, wife, mother or whore. So much so that, when the long-awaited kiss comes, after a scene that works in itself, very evocative, that of the choir around a bonfire (one of the best moments), the spring turns out to be less charged than it should.
A mystery, the female one that fell into the era, which basically is not probed much, with a Haenel that not even in that last shot that sees her as the absolute protagonist can fully redeem the choice in a role a little removed from her personality, that of a strong, resolute woman, where Héloïse is instead - or rather, should be - a damaged, exposed, weak girl. And Marianna is the only salvation, albeit temporary, to this evil that corrodes her from within. Something that we get from the story, unfortunately without finding confirmation in this game of looks and unspoken that in fact comes out resized.
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