7.2/10
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75 user 55 critic

Orlando (1992)

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Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »

Director:

Sally Potter

Writers:

Sally Potter, Virginia Woolf (novel)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tilda Swinton ... Orlando
Quentin Crisp Quentin Crisp ... Queen Elizabeth I
Jimmy Somerville ... Falsetto / Angel
John Bott ... Orlando's Father
Elaine Banham Elaine Banham ... Orlando's Mother
Anna Farnworth Anna Farnworth ... Clorinda
Sara Mair-Thomas Sara Mair-Thomas ... Favilla
Anna Healy Anna Healy ... Euphrosyne
Dudley Sutton ... King James I
Simon Russell Beale ... Earl of Moray
Matthew Sim ... Lord Francis Vere
Jerome Willis ... Translator
Viktor Stepanov ... Russian Ambassador (as Victor Stepanov)
Charlotte Valandrey ... Princess Sasha
Mary MacLeod Mary MacLeod ... First Older Woman
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Storyline

Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British history, experiencing a variety of lives and relationships along the way, and even changing sex. Written by Phythian

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Russia | Italy | France | Netherlands

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 June 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Орландо See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,289,772
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Swinton, who played Orlando's daughter, is Tilda Swinton's real life niece. See more »

Quotes

[speaking in French]
Princess Sasha: You speak French?
Orlando: A bit. But most of the English can't... don't want to speak other languages.
Princess Sasha: But how do they communicate with foreigners?
Orlando: They speak English louder.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Beatrice Quennell "Hunny" 1897 - 1989 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Divine Mr. Crisp (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Eliza Is the Fairest Queen
Composed by Edward Johnson
Performed by Jimmy Somerville
Courtesy of London Records
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User Reviews

 
Androgyny and immortality
12 March 2016 | by brchthethirdSee all my reviews

Movies about transgender people don't number that many (at least in mainstream cinema), and even less so the further back you go, so ORLANDO is somewhat unique by virtue of its very existence. Based on a Virginia Woolf novel (which I haven't yet read, but definitely want to), it tells the story of Orlando, an English nobleman blessed/cursed with immortality and who changes sex from male to female. Without going into spoiler territory (e.g., when and why Orlando changes), the film is largely concerned with social roles and expectations of men and women, unfairness in how women have been treated, etc. I thought it was rather interesting to for Orlando to be possessive of a woman he fancies early in the film, only to be on the receiving end of a similar proposal later on as a woman. And then there was my favorite scene where Orlando sits in on a discussion between several famous writers/poets (including Alexander Pope). All of the feminist discussion and thematic content alone makes this worth a watch, but there are a few minor quibbles to be had. The chief one is due to the main character's immortality. You get several sections in different time periods that show Orlando's progress, but it gives the film an episodic feel at times. I also wasn't terribly satisfied with the way it ended, although I'd be at a loss to posit an alternate ending without extending the running time further (and I thought it was a good length already). Suffice it to say, this is one of the best performances I've ever seen out of Tilda Swinton, although she was less convincing as a man than a woman (for obvious reasons). Still, her character isn't the only fun the film has with gender fluidity, as Queen Elizabeth is played by Quentin Crisp and there are a couple castrati who provide some diegetic music. Aside from the performances, the production design, sets, costumes, and score were all equally good. For more open-minded viewers, I can wholeheartedly recommend this. It will definitely affect the way you think about gender/gender roles.


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