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Davidson Film Club Presents “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

by | Aug 20, 2023

The Davidson Film Club is pleased to invite you to a screening and discussion of the critically acclaimed recent French film Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Saturday, August 26, at 7:00 p.m. in the Armour Street Theatre.

 “This period piece is a mesmerizing story about desire and heartbreak, and one of the best queer films of the year.” Michael Cuby, them

Directed by Céline Sciamma
France (2019, 2h01)
In French w/English subtitles
Trigger warning: This film includes brief scenes of female nudity and intimacy.

Discussion of the film will be led by Sandy McFeeley, Board President of the Unitarians of Lake Norman, former law professor, federal government attorney, and longtime Davidson Film Club member.


The Davidson Film Club always allows subscriptions to a series after the first film, and there are still a few memberships available for this series at $28 for the remaining four films. Subscriptions can still be made on our website using the PayPal buttons and your own credit card ( or with cash or check at the door Saturday night if memberships are still available.

Walk-ins are welcome, $9 at the door, cash or check. Walk-ins must apply for a seat in advance at [email protected]. Walk-in seats are limited by availability.

 Refreshments (red and white wine, bottled water, and snacks) will be made available by the Film Club.

Film Summary:

In 18th-century France young painter Marianne is summoned to an isolated seaside estate on a secret assignment. She must find a way to paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse, who is resisting an imposed marriage, by furtively observing her. What unfolds in exquisite tension is an exchange of sustained gazes in which the two women come to know each other, forging a subversive creative collaboration. . .

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (Critical Opinion): 97%; Audience Score: 92%.

Winner of the Women Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Movie About Women, Best Foreign Film by or About Women, and Best Screen Couple. Winner of César award for Best Cinematography plus 9 other nominations for César awards, Golden Globes, and BAFTA nominations for Best Film not in the English Language, two prizes at Cannes for Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm, nominated for the Palme d’Or. Winner of multiple LGBTQ Film awards.

59 wins and 157 nominations in all, including multiple Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Actress, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role awards.

“This intelligent and sensuous film is special. An intimate and delicate study of how two people can fall in love.” Jane Freebury, The Canberra Times (Australia)

“There’s almost no single moment in Portrait of a Lady on Fire that couldn’t be captured, mounted, and hung on a wall as high art.” Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“Once in a while there is a work of art so specific, so complex [. . .] that it moves the craft, our craft, to another level of seeing.”  Drew Gregory, Autostraddle

“Every artist begins with a blank canvas. It is what they do with it that defines them. With Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma has painted her masterpiece.” Dallas King, Flick Feast

“Even without showing men onscreen, Sciamma depicts the myriad ways in which the patriarchy constricts the lives of her female protagonists.” Rachel Syme, New Yorker

“It’s a slow burn, sure, but the embers are remarkable.” Cody Corrall, Chicago Reader

Our website features the whole current series and film descriptions. Have you Bookmarked it?

We are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization run by volunteers that only exists to bring you fine international fiction films and engage in stimulating discussion about them.

Hope that many of you will be at the August 26 screening of this brilliantly artistic and intensely passionate film!

Alan Singerman
President, Davidson Film Club
[email protected]
(704) 231-6736






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