This week I saw the new print of Sally Potter's Orlando, which Sony Pictures Classics is releasing for its... 18th anniversary? Never mind. It doesn't matter. It's always a good time to re-evaluate a good movie. It was first shown in 1992 and released in the United States in the summer of 1993. I remember the night I saw it, but my memory of the movie itself is rather hazy. I remember my assessment was that it was beautifully shot, but rather cold.

Even though I have had 18 years to read the 1928 Virginia Woolf novel upon which the movie is based, I still haven't gotten around to it. But I was nonetheless better able to appreciate the movie this time. The movie has definitely aged well, but also I think I'm personally better able to appreciate it now than I was back then.

Tilda Swinton plays the title character, a young nobleman -- with a slightly androgynous look -- who becomes the favorite of the queen (Quentin Crisp in drag). She orders him to never grow old, and so he does just that. He lives through the next 400 years without aging a day. Instead, at one point, he unexpectedly changes into a woman.

categories Columns, Cinematical