Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the 18th century, artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Heloïse (Adèle Haenel). As the headstrong Heloïse is not looking forward to her marriage, Marianne decides to make the portrait without her knowing. During long walks along the French coast, she closely observes her subject: her gestures, her gaze, a rare smile. Marianne works secretly on the painting at night. In Heloïse's last days of freedom, the attraction between the two women grows, until their love can be contained no longer. Queer Palm winner, Cannes Film Festival 2019.
Céline Sciamma's films often centre on identity, gender and sexuality, themes that she links to the motif of "firsts": first love (Naissance des Pieuvres, Portrait de la jeune fille and feu), first time feeling "different" (Tomboy), or, reversely, first sense of belonging (Girlhood). The way she approaches this makes her one of the currently most exceptional directors.