Everything that this should be, it is. It's very clearly rooted in its setting, and it creates an incomplete sense of intimacy by offering us such a close snapshot of Michèle and limiting it to one day. All youth's pessimism, idealization, depression, and romantic confusion is here and deeply familiar. So many scenes are just stunning, and Circé is perfect in her role. A gorgeous work of great sadness and nostalgia.
Such a pleasure to watch this during the current girlhood/girl power renaissance in film. Subtle, fat with dialogue, and good tunes--the last 5 minutes made me hold my breath. A partially autobiographical work, literary critic Judith Mayne has written awesome things about lesbian desire in Portrait: "what shapes the girl-meets-boy story is the simultaneous desire... to connect with another girl and to tell stories."
What a delightful surprise. Francoise Hardy meets Rosetta, with Leonard Cohen's marvellous Suzanne and some casual philosophy thrown in for good measure. And with Chantal Akerman's sad passing, it's all the more poignant in its sense not only of fleeting youth and time but of loneliness too. Thank you, Chantal.