Sunday, July 21, 2013


1992 British Feature

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane, John Wood, Charlotte Valandrey, Simon Russell Beale, Toby Stephens, Jimmy Somerville and Quentin Crisp
Writer/Director: Sally Potter, based on the novel Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that as he travels through several centuries of British history, experiencing a variety of lives along the way, and even changing his gender.


  • Internet Movie Database: 6.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 79% / Audience: 80%
  • OMG rating: 5/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Costume Design.
  • BAFTA Award for Best Makeup; also nominated for Costume Design.
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Swinton).
  • European Film Award for Best Young Film.
  • Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Foreign Film.
  • Venice Film Festival Golden Ciak Award for Best Film, OCIC Award and Elvira Notari Prize.

  • Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography was first published in 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it has been influential stylistically, and is considered particularly important in the history of women's writing and gender studies.
  • In regards to the differences between the source material and the film, writer/director Sally Potter said: "My task with the adaptation of Virginia Woolf's book for the screen was to find a way of remaining true to the spirit of the book and to Virginia Woolf's intentions, whilst being ruthless with changing the book in any way necessary to make it work cinematically. The most immediate changes were structural. The storyline was simplified; any events which did not significantly further Orlando's story were dropped."
  • Reinforcing the film's theme of gender transformations, celebrated author Quentin Crisp portrays Queen Elizabeth I. In Sally Potter's words, Quentin Crisp was the "Queen of queens... particularly in the context of Virginia Woolf's gender-bending politics" and thus fit to play the aged Queen of England.
  • As Orlando progresses throughout the years, during each new incarnation Tilda Swinton's eye color changes.
  • Jimmy Somerville, best known as the lead singer of the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, performed the songs "Eliza is the Fairest Queen" and "Coming" on the film's soundtrack.
  • Film debut of actor Toby Jones.

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