The idea is simple enough. Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) is home from the convent and hopefully will be married off soon. But not without a suitable wedding portrait being presented to the groom's family in Italy. A painting, at that. The problem is Héloïse wants nothing to do with the painting, which really is her way of saying shove your arranged marriage. (It's the 18th century. Just go with it.)
Enter Marianne (Noémie Merlant), who's brought in to take another shot at things. (And when I say "brought in," I mean by boat. Because it's 1760.
The story may well be obvious from here. It is, in and of itself, not necessarily the most original of ideas. That's not a knock of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, though. Certainly not with the accolades it's already received — Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Best Screenwriter for writer and director Céline Sciamma. Numerous wins in various U.S.-based film circles.
And starting March 27, it's available on Hulu in the United States. That's a good bit earlier than planned because (like every other movie theses days, never mind one in French) its run in theaters was cut short. Despite that, it managed some $3.7 million in the United States, and more than $23 million worldwide.
Here's the official line:
Brittany, France, 1760. Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young lady who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day and secretly paints her at night. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women as they share Héloïse's first and last moments of freedom, all whilst Marianne paints the portrait that will end it all.
This is another one of those times when it's as much about the journey as it is the destination. (And that's never a bad thing.) You know they fall in love. You know there's going to be some kind of tragedy. Maybe even a whole lot of it. (Plus, fire!)
And at 12:01 a.m. March 27, you can stream it on Hulu.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This award-winner is streaming early on Hulu
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a multiple-award winner and has come to Hulu early after its run in theaters was cut short.
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