This year’s Toronto International Film Festival is stocked with all manner of big-name movie stars and high-profile projects, but some of the best buzz belongs to a new French film. Directed by Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire premiered at Cannes earlier this year, but now even non-festivalgoers can enjoy the first trailer.
Set in pre-revolutionary France, Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Noémie Merlant as Marianne, a painter hired by a family in Brittany to create a portrait of their daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) for her suitor in Milan. The problem is, Héloïse is uncomfortable with the engagement and refuses to sit for a portrait, which means Marianne must paint her in secret. During the day she’ll pose as Héloïse’s walking companion, and at night she’ll work on the portrait from memory.
Needless to say, all this time together soon sparks a romance between Héloïse and Marianne — surely doomed from the start, since they’re collaborating on a painting that could send Héloïse away forever. A hint at the meaning of the film’s title arrives at the end of the trailer, with Héloïse standing impassively as her dress starts to burn.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is set to hit theaters Dec. 6. Watch the trailer above.