Anyone paying attention to the film festival circuit in 2019 is surely anticipating Neon’s upcoming release of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” The new drama from “Tomboy” and “Girlhood” director Céline Sciamma premiered at Cannes to instant rave reviews. IndieWire named “Portrait” one of the best movies at Cannes, and the romance drama has since gone on to earn even more acclaim at Telluride and TIFF. Neon’s first official trailer for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has finally arrived to give moviegoers a first taste of why the movie is one of the buzziest of 2019.
Neon’s official synopsis for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” reads: “In 18th century France a young painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) 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.”
IndieWire has named “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” not only one of the year’s best movies but also one of the best films of the decade. Senior film critic David Ehrlich writes, “Céline Sciamma’s most perfect and powerful film to date came as something of a curveball when it premiered at Cannes earlier this year. Austere where ‘Tomboy’ was anxious, and hesitant where ‘Girlhood’ was rash, ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ is the first of Sciamma’s movies that could be described as ‘classical’ in any sense of the word. While all of her earlier offerings have told profound and tender stories of self-discovery and the images that women project, this film is more concerned with the ones they leave behind, and how stunning they can be when they aren’t forced through male filters.”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” won the Queer Palm prize and was awarded Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. Neon is expected to launch an awards campaign for the queer romance film, although France has yet to name “Portrait” its official entry for the Best International Film Oscar as of Neon’s trailer debut.
Neon will open “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” in select theaters beginning December 6. Watch the official trailer for the acclaimed foreign-language drama in the video below.