Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire.jpg
Festival de Cannes film poster
FrenchPortrait de la jeune fille en feu
Directed byCéline Sciamma
Produced by
  • Véronique Cayla
  • Bénédicte Couvreur
Screenplay byCéline Sciamma
Music by
CinematographyClaire Mathon
Edited byJulien Lacheray
Lilies Films
Distributed by
  • Pyramide Films
Release date
  • 19 May 2019 (2019-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 18 September 2019 (2019-09-18) (France)
Running time
120 minutes

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (French: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) is a 2019 French historical drama film directed by Céline Sciamma. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2] The film won the Queer Palm at Cannes, becoming the first film directed by a woman to win the award.[3] Sciamma also won the award for Best Screenplay at Cannes.[4][5][6]


At the end of the eighteenth century Marianne, a young painter, is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young woman to be used to elicit marriage proposals. Knowing that the woman, Héloïse, has previously refused to sit for portraits as she does not want to be married, Marianne disguises herself as a lady's maid in order to gain her subject's trust only to find herself inadvertently falling in love with her.



On 22 August 2018, film distributor MK2 began the sale of international rights to the film, with Pyramide Films acquiring the distribution rights for France.[7] On 10 February 2019, Curzon Artificial Eye acquired the rights for the United Kingdom; as well as Karma Films for Spain, Cinéart for Benelux, and Folkets Bio for Sweden.[8][9] Neon and Hulu acquired the distribution rights for North America on 22 May.[10][11]

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is scheduled to premiere in the United States in a limited release on 6 December 2019.[12]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 97% based on 61 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 8.97/10 and the consensus: "A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance".[13] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 93 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[14]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Cannes Film Festival 25 May 2019 Queer Palm Céline Sciamma Won [15]
Best Screenplay Award Won [5]


  1. ^ "The 2019 Official Selection". Festival de Cannes. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Cannes festival 2019: full list of films". The Guardian. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  3. ^ Richford, Rhonda. "Cannes: 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' Takes Queer Palm Prize". Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)". Festival de Cannes. 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Debruge, Peter (25 May 2019). "Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes". Variety. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  6. ^ Pulver, Andrew (25 May 2019). "Bong Joon-ho's Parasite wins Palme d'Or at Cannes film festival". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  7. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (28 August 2018). "mk2 launches sales on Céline Sciamma's 'Portrait of A Lady On Fire', Porumboiu's 'The Passenger' (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  8. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (10 February 2019). "mk2 Scores Major Deals Across Its EFM Slate (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  9. ^ Grater, Tom (2 May 2019). "Cannes Competition pair 'Portrait Of A Lady On Fire', 'The Whistlers' land at UK's Curzon (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  10. ^ Barraclough, Leo (22 May 2019). "Cannes: Neon, Hulu Acquire Celine Sciamma's 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'". Variety. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  11. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (22 May 2019). "NEON & Hulu Take North American Rights To Céline Sciamma's Palme d'Or Contender 'Portrait Of A Lady On Fire' — Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (31 May 2019). "Cannes Film Festival Award Winner 'Portrait Of A Lady On Fire' To Ignite This Winter". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Portrait of a Lady on Fire". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  15. ^ Richford, Rhonda (24 May 2019). "Cannes: 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' Takes Queer Palm Prize". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 May 2019.

External links[edit]