Portrait of a Lady on Fire

With the impressive showing of the South Korean film Parasite at the Oscars and other various awards shows this season, I want to speak this into existence for 2020: Foreign films need to be more mainstream.

We are blessed in Nashville to have several theaters that show foreign films on a regular basis, so they are always pretty accessible. Did you know that the 100 Oaks Regal theater always has at least three Bollywood films showing on any given day?

After your first couple foreign films, “reading” the story becomes second nature and you can focus on the movie as a whole. Deep, meaningful plots, experimental styles, all while learning a few new phrases in another language– what’s not to love?

One film that garnered the attention of many audiences during festival season is releasing next Friday, February 20th at the Belcourt Theater in Hillsboro Village (and many other locations worldwide, of course). Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French film portraying the story of star-crossed lovers, sure to tug on your heart strings.

Set in 1770 France, an artist and a young woman betrothed to another form a friendship that eventually leads to more. The movie portrays their relationship from beginning to end, and is sure to remind you of your own fleeting romances.

The two leading ladies are absolutely captivating. Their seemingly delicate personalities give way to passion and humor as the story progresses. While the beginning of the movie is quite slow, from the 30 minute mark on, it is hard to look away. Their chemistry together is perfect, balancing their desire for one another with their circumstances. One even remarks, “Do lovers always feel as if they’re inventing something new?”

There are several breathtaking scenes during the course of the movie, including the scene from with the title is taken. The ending is spectacular as well, although hopeless romantics will likely be disappointed.

If you’re looking to try out a foreign film sometime in the near future, this may be the one for you IF: you’re a fan of romance dramas, not offended by nudity, and prefer artsy movie styles rather than blockbuster hits. If that doesn’t sound like you (and that’s okay!), I have plenty of Bollywood recommendations for you that would fit your style.

Watch the preview here: https://vimeo.com/385126235.

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