The landscape of feeling is the subject of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s Cannes winner from France. In late 1700s, a young painter (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint a portrait of a soon-to-be-married noblewoman (Adèle Haenel). A slow-burn romance develops, and Sciamma’s camera gaze attempts to illuminate the souls of her subjects through a series of perfectly composed, lit and edited sequences. Having played the festival circuit to almost universal acclaim, the film now seeks a place among the general public as a passion of mythic dimensions.
ArcLight, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 6, various showtimes; $16-$18; (323) 615-2550, arclightcinemas.com.
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