A french noblewoman wants to marry her daughter Héloïse off to a wealthy Italian suitor. Before a wedding can be arranged, however, a portrait needs to be painted and Héloïse refuses to pose for the painting. Thus, her mother hires a female artist to pose as a maid in order to be able to spend time with her daughter and paint her from memory. Céline Sciamma’s impressively stylized PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN ON FIRE is an intelligent treatise on the psychology of desire, the visual arts and the male gaze, from one of France’s leading filmmakers.
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