Sexy, witty and provocative, Potter’s adaptation of Orlando turned Virginia Woolf’s most spirited novel, called ‘the longest love letter in English literature’, into a reinvention of heritage cinema that dazzled audiences and critics from the Venice Film Festival to Rolling Stone.
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Etherial and fantastic, this Orlando is built on fairy-tale ground - everything is beautifully put together so you don't ever fall from its web. It catches you by the imagery - and oh-how Tilda belongs here. Like dozens and dozens of pictures - Potter does art work, framing reality as make believe. Congratulations, my eyes are pleased.
A singular film that should fascinate anyone interested in the construction of identity, in both a "real" and cinematic sense. Some parts of the film are inadvertently hilarious (i.e. Billy Zane trotting in on the horse).
Despite its interesting aesthetic and the impressive Tilda's performance, this film is not equally remarkable as the astonishing Virginia's novel. But I must say, it is truly a pity as it could have ended as an astoundingly beautiful perception of the novel.
Orlando - You see I'm about to lose everything.
Shelmerdine - You can come with me.
O - Where you going?
S - Back to America when the wind changes to the southwest.
O - America. I've been abroad, but east...
Aside from the amazing acting, screenplay, story, directing, cinematography and costumes, the style, score and editing made this highly enjoyable. Very different from my first screening. Now it has much more depth. The theme and messages it conveys makes this one of my favorite films.
***1/2 Pretty and arch are double-edged swords; those attributes sometimes enthrall and sometimes obstruct. I couldn't agree more with the sex-and-gender theses Potter projects onto the novel, but they're stated rather than explored more often than I found effective, and the riveting/transporting pure-modernist opacity of Woolf's prose becomes an awkward hybrid of modernist rigor and postmodernist noodling.