Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” will begin streaming on Hulu on Friday, March 27, the streamer announced. Neon and Hulu acquired the movie out of the Cannes Film Festival in May, where it premiered in competition and won the Queer Palm and best screenplay.
In the United States, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was released in two movie theaters in December to qualify for the Academy Awards, but had its official domestic release on Valentine’s Day. Its platform release was interrupted by theater closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. It grossed $3.7 million in the U.S., and more than $23 million globally.
The film, set in 1770, stars Noémie Merlant as Marianne, who is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman who has just left a convent — they fall in love. The Sciamma film has drawn rave reviews. Variety’s Peter Debruge called it a “gorgeous, slow-burn lesbian romance.”
Hulu confirmed that “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was premiering on the streaming service earlier than planned. “The film was scheduled for later this spring but we moved it up a little because the theatrical run, which began 2/14, was cut short,” a spokesperson told Variety.
The shutterings of movie theaters have caused a cascade of films to be rushed to digital services, including Universal’s “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt” and “Emma,” along with the Warner Bros. films “The Way Back” and “Birds of Prey,” Pixar’s “Onward” and Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog.”