Shelmerdine: "Are you hurt, ma'am?" Orlando: "I am dead, sir." Shelmerdine: "Dead – That's serious." British Lit films are always "lit," if you will. This is so intricate and literary. I love all the 4th wall-breaking moments. Subdued but very funny when it tries to be.
An impressive and divine in its artificiality 'essay' on the blurring of distinctions, gender, sexual, national. The stunning opening sequence (Rodionov's exuberant camerawork) announces the shift of identities as Orlando is filmed in inverse movement from that of the camera. This is among the many visual and aural pleasures of this direct (great 4th wall breaches) and free of demagogy caring gaze of Orlando.
First half channels Woolf's glib, surreal austerity. 'Orlando' is top-5-novels material for me, so I was inevitably disappointed with the lack of ceremony in the transformation scene. In the novel, Orlando goes into a cocoon surrounded by cherubs & witches, emerging a woman. That's so tight! Why Potter chose to undercut this I'll never know. Anyway great cinematography, Swinton rules etc. Go read the book!
9.5/10. Sally Potter translates Woolf's novel into a brisk absurdist comedy. There doesn't feel like much of a logical connection between events, but the nonsensical leaps through time play well with the surprisingly funny scenes. The production design is simply gorgeous and Tilda Swinton's androgynous beauty is mesmerizing.
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.
Potter's suitably irreverent masque is a thoroughly decent attempt to film a tricky novel capturing its less than cinematic themes of transcendentalism and immortality, together with the easier - and now drearily contemporary - topic of identity (the film is no doubt due a pert revival on that score alone). Swinton's gamine androgyny is put to early good use.
Now this is timeless! I can't believe I missed a precious gem all these years. Based from Virginia Woolf's novel of the same title. Tilda Swinton plays both genders on this revolutionary take on life and the sexes, and she's amazing! What a remarkable piece of cinema. I found myself in awe, marveling, and laughing at the same time. My treasure box is never full, and this is definitely in my collection.