I am attending NYFF and I will post some thoughts here about what I've seen and liked so far since not every movie has a thread so far.DarkImbecile wrote: ↑Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:48 pmThe benefit of this calamitous start, however, was that it made it easy to get into our next film of the day, Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It’s going to come off as hyperbolic and hasty and probably unfair, but I’m not going to sugarcoat my immediate reaction, which is that this is the best film I’ve ever seen, and I don’t say that lightly at all. Flawless, jaw-dropping artistry from start to finish, visually and aurally breathtaking, and built around two crushingly note-perfect performances working from characters and dialogue written with as much resonance and meaning as I’ve experienced in any work of art. I almost don’t want to write about it, I had such an emotional and personal response to both the core story and characters and the sheer beauty of more compositions and shots than I can count. The film functions as a masterful articulation of (and itself serves an ideal example of) the fragile impermanence of the brief appearances of beauty in our lives, and I felt genuine gratitude and humility at having experienced it. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and I’m hopeful that I see Sciamma — who was unable to attend the North American premiere screening due to flight delays but should be here later this weekend —to thank her for her masterwork in person.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma) - Something holds me from calling it a masterpiece. Maybe because of the conventionality of it, but it is a most beautifully formed object - well-made and shapely. It is extraordinarily sophisticated, high-minded, literate and even literary. It is also alive and modern and not stuffy like many period pieces. It also has visual beauty and panache, good mis-en-scene and delicate performances from the actors. It is a feminist landmark of some kind, how major, remains to be seen. But it as much of a landmark as say Wonder Woman was and that definitely was a major one.
I initially thought that it was handed a lesser award at Cannes - it could have been given Diretor, Grand Prix etc. But I think Screenplay is a fitting prize. Sciamma is ofcourse a great writer and the script is where everything begins and probably its best part. This could easily be a classic novel from the 19th century. It is just perfectly calibrated that way.
I will have to think about what's holding me back from calling it a masterpiece but this overall is a worthy recipient of accolades. Very simple, very beautiful and a screenplay that should win an Oscar.