Queer Stream: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Since we’re all inside, we’ve launched Queer Stream, a series of short essays highlighting great queer TV and film you can stream right now. Today we’re talking about the remarkable film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, released in 2019. And as a special treat, we’ll be live tweeting the film over on Twitter this Friday, April 3 at 8pm ET. Come join us!

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is set in 1760 France on an island in Brittany. A painter named Marianne is commissioned to paint the portrait of Heloise for her wedding day. But Heloise is a reluctant bride, having just left a convent. So, Marianne has to pretend to be Heloise’s friend by day—and paints the enigmatic young woman by firelight at night. The two women become close and as their intimacy grows, they decide to make the portrait a collaborative testament to their love.

The film premiered at Cannes where it won Best Screenplay and received much critical acclaim. It has been nominated for and won numerous awards including winning Best Cinematography from the New York Film Critics and LGBTQ Film of the Year from GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.

There’s a lot to love about this brilliant film by lesbian director Celine Sciamma. There’s intrigue, romance, the flutter in your stomach of stolen glances and wondering if this person feels the same way. There’s also sweet kisses, touches, and tender, loving resilience. The most important thing about the film is perhaps the fact that a lesbian romance has gained so much critical acclaim. The cutest is perhaps the fact that Sciamma cast her ex Adele Haenel as Heloise.

Queer stream Portrait of a Lady on Fire at: Hulu (It will be released on VOD sometime this month)

Queerest moment: The entire film

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