…as close to perfect as a gently erotic, deeply passionate period drama could be. Simultaneously restrained and highly charged, and intensely performed by Noemie Merlant (as a portraitist) and Adele Haenel (as a young woman reluctant to be married off, presumably for reasons of orientation).
Director Celine Sciamma‘s minimalist approach delivers the right tone, touch and emphasis, and I mean precisely.
Any film that re-ignites your (possibly) dormant love of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as a climactic send-off is doing something right.
Wiki boilerplate: At the end of the eighteenth century Marianne (Merlant), a young painter, is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young woman to be used to elicit marriage proposals. Knowing that the woman, Heloïse (Haenel), 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.”
Wiki subtext: “In 2014 Haenel revealed she was in a romantic relationship with Sciamma, whom she met on the set of Water Lilies by publicly acknowledging their relationship in her acceptance speech for her César award in 2014. As of 2018 she was in a relationship with singer Julia Lanoe.”