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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sally Potter's Orlando - An interesting and successful adaptation.
I shan't talk about the story of Orlando in this review, as a story review more properly belongs to Virginia Woolf's book. For the rest of the review, I shall assume my reader's familiarity with Orlando's general plot. However, I shall say here that, despite the film's many merits, a prior reading of Orlando is close to essential for full enjoyment and appreciation of...
Published on 12 May 2011 by Mr. J. HARRIS

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well made, but the book is much better. buy both.
This is a beautiful film, well directed and acted. If I hadn't read the book I would probably have given it 4 stars. It was filmed in Russia, what a pity! Throughout the pages of Virginia Woolf you fill such a vibrant London, expecially in the last part of the novel. The cold Russian winter has such a stong white light and it helps you imagine the Great Frost, during...
Published on 6 Feb 2006


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Orlando, 10 May 2013
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
This is a really interesting take on the original novel by V. Woolf. It remains true to the novel but also speaks to a modern audience as shown by the ending which varies from the novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... because this is England, everyone pretends not to notice, 25 Aug 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
No lover in the world ever wrote a valentine more exquisite than Virginia Woolf's tribute to her lover Vita Sackville-West, "Orlando."

And few movie adaptations are as coyly, exquisitely lovely as the 1992 movie adapted from that book, a magical-realism tale about a perpetually youthful, charming hero/ine who traverses three centuries and both genders. Tilda Swinton has the right combination of androgyny and intelligence to perfectly embody Orlando, and director Sally Potter gilds and perfumes every set and costume.

Orlando (Swinton) was born a young aristocratic man in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and when the dying monarch visited his home she became his new court favorite. She also bid him, "Do not fade, do not wither, do not grow old."

And Orlando did as she said. With the death of the queen and his father, Orlando's passionate, curious personality attracted many women -- and during the Great Freeze he fell in love with Sasha, a mercurial Russian princess (Charlotte Valandrey) who enthralled him, but left him as he ice began to thaw. Bereft of true love, he devoted himself to poetry and entertainment.

But then he's assigned to be an ambassador to Constantinople, and something strange happens -- while a bloody revolution rages, he sleeps for a full week... and wakes newly metamorphosed into a woman. With the same mind and soul but a female body, Orlando sets out on a new life of poetry (befriending Pope!), sex and legality, stretching all the way to the twentieth century -- when she finally finds peace.

"Orlando" is a treat for the senses, filled with showers of gold dust, luxuriant flowers, pale sunlight, golden sands, cities veiled in ice, dark rivers, snowy forests and mist-filled hedge mazes. It feels like Sally Potter took Woolf's beautiful book and sprinkled it with roses, gold and crystals -- and it just adds a suitably magical atmosphere to a already unreal story.

The center of all this is Swinton, who plays Orlando in both incarnations, and she's utterly brilliant. Her androgynous features and slim body mean she can pass for both a man and a woman, and she manages to carry both genders off beautifully -- she captures gangly boyish grace, sleek femininity, and a sort of chummy male attitude with equal skill.

And she captures Orlando's elusive personality. Her Orlando is all puckish charm, sweetness and unleashed passion -- even to the audience. While watching a street performance of "Othello," he glances at the camera and whispers, "Terrific play!", as if we're trailing after him over the centuries.

And as I mentioned, Potter does a brilliant job with a very difficult book, sticking faithfully to most of Woolf's novel and adding a shimmering, silken atmosphere to it. There are lots of beautiful scenes that could have stepped out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting, and she deftly handles the passing centuries by having Orlando sprint through walls of mist. The ending is slightly different from Woolf's novel, but it has the same pleasantly timeless, thoughtful quality -- the only downside is that weird freaky angel thing. WHAT was that about?

Fortunately, the freaky angel thing is the one downside in "Orlando," a timelessly sensual movie that perfectly highlights Tilda Swinton. Absolutely stunning.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The same film. No difference at all... just a different format., 8 Aug 2012
By 
S. R. Basso - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orlando [Blu-ray] [1992] (Blu-ray)
A very good transfer, not perfect with very minor speckles on and off throughout and occasional dirt marks on dissolves and fades, but still absolutely the best the film has looked at home. Contrast can be variable but this is an accurate presentation of the source and some scenes are beautiful in the way that only celluloid can be. The film displays without issue in 1:1 pixel mode which is a plus. The sound is LPCM 2.0 only (ignore the box which states there is a DTS-MA 5.1 option, there isn't) but this mixes well to Pro-Logic surround and has a surprising level of bass throughout. Ms. Swinton's amazing voice is reproduced wonderfully.

For my part Orlando is the best British film of the last twenty years and this disc is essential, flaws and all.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing if you're familiar with the book, 23 Jan 2013
By 
Helen "hezza" (Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Although sumptuous looking, beautifully shot and despite Tilda Swinton's stunning portrayal as Orlando, if you've read the book and are hoping for a visualization for your imagination, then this isn't it. About 50% of the plot is missing and there's no real exploration of Virginia Woolf's key themes of sexual identity, gender differences, conforming to society, etc, and almost nothing about the poem Orlando was writing throughout his/her life and is one of the key metaphors. Anyone not familiar with the plot lines (man changes into woman and lives for 400 years) will think 'huh?'. Granted as art it is visually spectacular (especially the staging of "The Great Frost"), but if you are a student of the text you may find that there's too many gaps to make it satisfactory viewing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, 16 May 2014
This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
This is one of the most bizarre films I’ve seen. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Virginia Woolf, which I have not read (and am not inspired to read, having seen this).

Tilda Swinton stars as Orlando, in a historical panoramic play that begins in the court of Queen Elizabeth I where he longs for love and freedom, and is cursed to remain at the same age forever. It then leaps forward across the centuries, about fifty years at a time, showing new aspects of life and attitudes to women.

The scenery is good, the costumes stunning, and taken as snapshots of society through the ages, it’s quite interesting. But it’s strangely surreal to have the same person appearing in different roles, never growing any older, and then making an even more dramatic change in Central Asia, part-way through.

There are one or two mildly amusing moments, some violence which didn’t appeal to me, and some decidedly ‘adult’ scenes which, I would have thought, should raise the rating to at least 12 rather than the actual PG rating.

The blurb on the back of the DVD says that it’s a ‘brilliantly original story of self-discovery, romance and adventure’. That much is true. And it was very well done. The film seems to have won great acclaim from the critics, too… but it didn’t do anything for me, other than leave me faintly puzzled.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the book, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
NOt as good as the book! Used to support teaching, but ended up provoking discussion in class as the students were so disappointed with the film (all discussion good!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, 1 July 2013
By 
R. Chambers (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orlando [Blu-ray] [1992] (Blu-ray)
I've seen this twice in the cinema. It is so beautifully filmed and I'm really pleased to have it on Blu-ray at a good price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous trans-period story, 22 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. Robert Marsland (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Orlando is a character of an androgynous vein, staring off as a man in 1600, as royalty and continues a journey through the ages to the present never gaining age. The presentation of the film is sumptuous and magical, both the costumes and the settings, along with some lovely music. If you an enjoy a trip in an imagined world, this could be for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Feb 2012
By 
Julia Sulman (Knysna, South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Superb film version of Virginia Woolf's very creative novel with stellar performances by Tilda Swinton and the late Quinton Crisp.

Delivered swiftly and with no fuss. Great service.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, enjoyable film, 19 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Orlando [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Sally Potter has captured Virginia Woolf's novel highlighting the blurring of gender beautifully. Although she puzzingly omits some key elements of the book, such as Orlando's & the Duke/Duchess cross-dressing and changes the sex of Orlando's child, Potter's brilliant choice of cast visually replicates Woolf 's aim: for the reader/viewer to challenge stereotypical gender preconceptions. The film is very 'watchable' visually, Swinton is an excellent Orlando - as Quentin Crisp is an excellent Queen...
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Orlando [DVD] [1992]
Orlando [DVD] [1992] by Sally Potter (DVD - 2009)
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