Portrait of a Lady on Fire*****

Directed by

You’ll hear people say that it must be easy to write a Mills and Boon romantic tale. They try and fail. For a romantic tale to work it needs its lovers, an obstacle and that’s it. No sub plots, zany friends or contrived situations. Two people. It says a lot for POALF that Céline Sciamma both wrote and directed a tale that sticks to the purest form of romance, delivered with a painter’s eye for an image and brought to life consummately by Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel. There’s not a spare line, not a look that doesn’t combine to form one of the best romantic tales in years and perfect antidote to the cynicism of Parasite. And it has three endings which each work in a different way.

Verdict: A truly romantic film that reverberates in the mind.