Orlando (Tilda Swinton) and Shelmerdine (Billy Zane) in the film Orlando

ORLANDO is a bold, unsentimental re-working of Virgina Woolfs classic novel in which an innocent aristocrat journeys through 400 years of English history – first as a man, then as a woman. ORLANDO is a story of the quest for love, and it is also an ironic dance through English history. Addressing contemporary concerns about gender and identity, the film is remarkably true to the spirit of Virgina Woolf, but it also skilfully adapts the original story to give it a striking, cinematic form. The screenplay is a standard text taught in film schools as a radical and successful adaptation of a classic work.


“Directed with sly grace and quiet elegance by Sally Potter, it is not about a story or a plot, but about a vision of human existence.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 9.07.93

“Rarely have source material, director, and leading actress been more in alignment than in Orlando, the 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, directed by Sally Potter and starring Tilda Swinton.” – Matthew Connolly, Slant Magazine, 19.07.10

“Potter recreates four centuries of British cultural history in painterly images and austerely constructed settings…” – Sean Axmaker, Parallax View, 17.08.10

“In many ways, [Orlando] helped to bring art back to the art house, so that today’s quality-film landscape doesn’t just include gritty, low-budget dramas of social import but movies that mix high art and high camp in challenging and pleasurable ways. You can see the impeccably-designed vignettes of Orlando in Wes Anderson’s filmed dioramas, or in Sofia Coppola’s new-wave Marie Antoinette.” – Dan Kois, Slate Magazine, 21.07.10

Tilda Swinton as Orlando
Billy Zane as Shelmerdine
Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I
Charlotte Valandrey as Princess Sasha
John Wood as Archduke Harry

Written & Directed by Sally Potter
Produced by Christopher Sheppard

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