Vita & Virginia (2018)
September 24, 2019 10:47 AM - Subscribe

Socialite Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf run in different circles in 1920s London. Despite the odds, the magnetic Vita and the beguiling Virginia forge an unconventional affair, set against the backdrop of their own strikingly contemporary marriages; which inspired one of Woolf's most iconic novels, 'Orlando'.
posted by ellieBOA (4 comments total)
Oof, why do I go into historical lesbian movies thinking I will leave uplifted!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:56 AM on September 24, 2019

I missed the festival screenings. Would like to seek it out.
posted by larrybob at 3:50 PM on September 24, 2019

Oddly, this felt MUCH longer than the two hour run-time, but by the same token I wasn't at all bored. Really outstanding work from the two leads, but it's fascinating to consider what the film might have been like had Eva Green stayed on as Virginia.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 1:16 AM on September 25, 2019

About twenty minutes in, I felt frustrated and angered by the movie and I was ready to write it off as all artifice and pretentiousness. I'm so glad I stayed. It was beautiful, complex and heartbreaking. And I actually did feel uplifted by it. I felt like Virginia learned where her boundaries were and found the healthiest time to end things.

The music was gorgeous. OMG THE COSTUMES. The cinematography was lovely. I also liked how, in the early parts where Vita is reading her letters, her face is mostly out of focus, and it becomes more in focus the better Virginia gets to know her.

Gemma Arterton was great as Vita. She really seemed to capture that liveliness, the archness, the certain amount of self-centerdness (we are talking about a woman who demanded that lovers remain faithful to her even while she was involved with multiple people). And that scene at the end, where it feels like you are finally seeing behind her mask – just stunning.

I also find it interesting to think what it would have been like if Eva Green had stay on. I think Elizabeth Debicki was frankly amazing in the role, and I really loved what she brought to it. Debicki is much younger than Woolf was at the time of these events, and while they seemed to try to age her up a bit she is clearly way under 40. (Emerald Fennell as Vanessa gets the age difference about right, but she's also much younger than Vanessa was at the time of these events.) Eva Green would have been about the same age Virginia Woolf was, and having an older actress in that role would have lent a different tone.

Nice to see Gethin Anthony in this. He always looks perfect for the period, no matter what period he's in.

This led me to read up a lot about the Bloomsbury set and Vita's set. Why hasn't anyone made an HBO series about them?!? A whole bunch of bisexual, free-love artists and writers (and politicians and economist...Keynes?!?) all intermingling? I'd be all over it.
posted by rednikki at 2:33 PM on January 16, 2020

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