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Orlando (1992)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 8,251

My Rating

Movie Info

Independent filmmaker Sally Potter's gender-bending epic, which views four centuries of sexual politics through the eyes of a sex-switching main character, is based on the 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf. The androgynous title character is played with delicate quietude by Tilda Swinton. The story begins during the reign of the aging Queen Elizabeth I (Quentin Crisp, in a droll turn recalling his The Naked Civil Servant). Queen Elizabeth takes a shine to the attractive young Orlando and seeks out

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Sally Potter

Aug 3, 1999

$57.3k

Sony Pictures Classics

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Orlando

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (6) | DVD (2)

A silly and serious work of art that isn't afraid to entertain.

July 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Swinton's androgynous affect has rarely been better exploited: It's a kick to see her transition among Orlando's numerous identities, whether wooing a Russian princess or submitting to the charms of the horseback-riding Shelmerdine.

July 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the kind of movie you want to talk about afterward.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a time-tripping, gender-bending fantasia with a cunning feminist edge, featuring the strikingly androgynous Tilda Swinton in the title role.

July 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Moving Picture Show
The Moving Picture Show

It's very specifically planned, and defiantly oddball.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Potter recreates four centuries of British cultural history in painterly images and austerely constructed settings...

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Eighteen years after its initial theatrical release, "Orlando" returns to theaters with all of its original allure intact, and then some.

July 20, 2010 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

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.

July 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Warmer color and sound enhance this new release print, but the film's wry humor, action fantasy, and a literary leaning may make for tough sledding with today's viewers.

July 10, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

I would imagine such a bizarre film would appeal mainly to those with a discriminating taste.

May 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast in Sally Potter's lavish, daring, and inventive adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

3.5

July 18, 2003
Movie City News

A visually stunning screen adaptation of Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel.

July 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A daring, daunting, playful work of some considerable intellectual force that just misses greatness owing to a lack of emotional weight.

August 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Tilda Swinton gets metrosexual in Sally Potter's surreal and unique costume drama.

August 12, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

A sumptuous and charmingly outrageous yarn. Tilda Swinton is delicious.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Orlando

Simply put one of the best movies I have ever seen. The cast is amazing and deliver in their performances, the stunning visuals and beautiful music combine to create a dreamy atmosphere through which S. Potter uses Orlando as a medium to make subtle and elegant commentaries about life, the human condition and the struggle of the sexes to understand each other when they are basically two aspects of the same coin. As opposed to some of the other reviewers here I did not find the movie slow or boring at any time. Nor is it just about Orlando; there are multiple layers. It flows simply and quietly but with great intensity and an underlying irony at every moment. This film must be Potter's masterpiece.
February 10, 2011
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

A young nobleman in the seventeenth century makes a promise to his Queen to never grow old, living on through to the twentieth after undergoing the transformation to womanhood. Based on a story by Virginian Woolf, Orlando is an ambitious attempt to portray gender issues spanning the centuries. Tilda Swinton shares the limelight with some wonderful costumes and locations, appearing just at home in doublet and hoes as a corset and bustle and her central performance is arresting. It's a pity that the rest of the cast don't really get a look in, as the story is represented as a series of all-too-short vignettes where some initially intriguing supporting characters appear briefly but are gone again before there is any chance to explore them or relationship with Orlando. This is a real shame because some of the scenes, especially concerning her receiving the kind of attitudes that she was herself guilty of having when she was a man, had real potential. This is doubly true of Zane's character who is the other side of the coin of Orlando's transformation. It is sometimes guilty of being too "arty" for its own good, the gimmicky casting of Quentin Crisp as Elizabeth I (although it could be argued that he is the perfect choice to play an old queen...) and the appearance of Jimmy Somerville as a golden angel overstep the boundary to campness. It's certainly an interesting and beautifully realised film visually, but Benjamin Button did something similar with a lot more heart.
January 21, 2011
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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