Portrait Of A Lady On Fire


sexualised nudity

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is a French-language period drama in which a young artist is commissioned to paint the portrait of a woman about to enter an arranged marriage. The film explores the romance that blossoms between the two over the course of their time together, and includes some sensual and passionate scenes.

In one sequence, after it is implied the two women have made love, they are seen lying in bed with their breasts exposed. One proceeds to rub a drug, which is implied to be an opiate, onto her armpit, and then to place her fingers into her partner’s armpit in a sensual and suggestive manner.

Context is important in determining the classification of nudity, as our guidelines state that at 12A/12 there may be nudity, but it should be brief and discreet if occurring in a sexual context. Post-coital scenes carry an inherently sexual context, though if they are visually discreet, with nudity hidden or implied, they can sometimes be accommodated at 12A/12.

In Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, the nude women appear in bed in what is evidently a post-coital context. This nudity remains present throughout the scene, and the sensuality of their touching and the application of the drug heightens the impact.

While it is a quiet, tender and moving film, the depiction of nudity combined with drugs and a sexual context ultimately led us to classify the film 15 for sexualised nudity.