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Orlando (1992)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Fantasy | 9 June 1993 (USA)
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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

Though he receives second billing, Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane has less than 12 minutes' screen time. 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 Some Are Born (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Where'er You Walk
(from "Semele")
Composed by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Andrew Watts (counter-tenor) with Peter Hayward (harpsichordist)
See more »

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User Reviews

Unique,one of-a-kind fantasy,maybe a touch frustrating but fascinating nonetheless
15 March 2004 | by DrLeneraSee all my reviews

Orlando is a true original,and for that reason alone it deserves praise. It is sometimes irritating,partly because it refuses to answer so many questions it poses- for instance does Orlando actually travel forward in time in some scenes,or is it just time passing? Why does one other character,the Archduke Harry,also seem to live for ages? Some of the film's touches,such as Orlando's addresses to camera,do come across as a little pretentious. Even considering the short running time,the pace is at times extremely slow,but that is not always a bad thing. Those in search of an original film experience which provides plenty to talk about after could do far worse,and the film actually becomes more rewarding the more one sees it,because you can put up with the flaws and concentrate on the many remarkable things about this film.

The film is absolutely gorgeous to look at,so many shots look like they could be great paintings. The film has a unique atmosphere,as it passes through the centuries,it creates a highly stylized,almost fairytale-like view of the past-this is especially successful in the early Elizabethan scenes set around snow. Here there is a terrific sense of a world that may have existed only in Orlando's distant memory,although it must be said the low budget does often show. There is plenty of humor that becomes funnier with repeated viewings-how about the overwrought Victorian melodrama of the meeting between Orlando and Billy Zane's character? The film is also quite erotic in a subtle way that is hard to explain,but it's there.

And of course there is the unique Tilda Swinton-she may have become a star recently with The Chronicles of Narnia,but this is her defining role. No other film has used best her striking appearance,and her casual reaction to the things that happen to her,such as going to sleep as a man and waking up as a woman,provides some of the film's best moments.Of the other performances,Quentin Crisp is unforgettable in the early scenes as a really decrepit Queen Elizabeth,although Billy Zane,as usual,is somewhat wooden.

Virgnia Woolf's novel probably seems completely unfilmable to most people after they have read it,but this film does a great job of simplifying it and yet still retaining the essence. Whether you consider the film {as the novel is}a feminist tract,or just a very strange fantasy,it can be extremely rewarding if you have the patience for something that is at times as offbeat as they come. I should add here that this is now probably one of my favourite films,but I certainly didn't feel like that about it when I first saw it many years ago.


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