This film is based on the book by Virginia Woolf of the same name, published in 1928. It is considered by some to be a mixture of fiction and biography. It's the story of a young page named Orlando who becomes one of the Queen's concubines. She promises him the deed to the house she visits in England so long as he promises in return to never grow old. He agrees. So we follow Orlando through the centuries as he attempts to keep his home and find love without drawing attention to himself.
The mind wants what the mind wants and when you're watching a movie it is usually to know what is going on. Orlando defies all logic spanning a couple centuries without really explaining why or how it is possible, but it is beautiful to watch; the costumes, the scenery and of course Tilda Swinton who plays the lead (most recently seen in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe as the white witch).
At points it does seem a bit long with no end in site but if you can lift yourself above storyline, lack of plot and the usual things that carry a movie you may find enjoyment in getting to know the struggle of one man who becomes a woman and the times they live in as they learn about love, deception, jealousy, devotion, admiration, honor and the rights of the sexes.
This movie is not completely true to the book as the director added on a world war in an attempt to update the movie had Woolf written the story later. I have seen this movie a few times and still enjoy it. It is worth watching at least twice to wrap your mind around it. Orlando made me fall in love with Tilda. If you're a fan of Billy Zane you get to see him ride in on a horse, sweep Orlando off her feet and depart as quickly as he came. The movie isn't about him or their relationship, as the title stipulates, it's about Orlando.
Sony Pictures, 1993
Purchase Orlando DVD from Amazon.com.
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Purchase Orlando: A Biography from Amazon.com.
Purchase Orlando: A Biography from Amazon.ca
M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario, Canada. If you are going to find this eclectic reader and writer anywhere it is probably at her computer. For more information visit her official website.