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In Person & Previews

Preview: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Céline Sciamma’s exquisite and intimate drama about forbidden love is ideal Valentine’s Day viewing.

Image from Preview: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

France 2019
Dir Céline Sciamma
With Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami
122min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate 15
Courtesy of Curzon

In 18th-century France, artist Marianne (Merlant) is commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Héloïse (Haenel) so it can be sent to a suitor. However, her subject neither wants to be married nor painted, so Marianne must stealthily capture Héloïse’s likeness while pretending to be her walking companion. Sciamma’s film, a big hit at 2019’s BFI London Film Festival, is a beautifully observed romance that burns with passion and defiance.

Tickets £15, concs £12 (Members pay £2 less)

See more Valentine’s Day films, and look out for a Céline Sciamma focus in March.

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