If you like period films you are going to enjoy Sally Potter's adaptation and modernization of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Director Sally Potter is much more interested in style than substance, scene and scenery than story. Orlando is a unique kind of movie you have to be in the mood for. It is difficult to see what makes this DVD a Special Edition.
Tilda Swinton plays Orlando, a young noble. Orlando becomes the favorite of Elizabeth I. In exchange for swearing to never age and never fade Orlando is given a great estate and wealth.
At the time of the great London Frost Orlando first falls in love with a young Russian princess named Sasha. The winter scenes here are probably the best looking post Elizabethan London winter scenes ever put on film. Orlando at that time is an impetuous young man. He later becomes ambassador to some Middle Eastern country.
He then has a sex change and things move very quickly and emptily from there.
Swinton is static in her portrayal of Orlando. Her occasional glances to the camera are sometimes meaningful and other times imposed.
Orlando is hard to figure out. You are not quite sure how to take certain scenes though Sally Potter seems to have quite a sense of humor in scenes such as when Orlando's servants are trying to wake him up or the lunch with the poet.
Orlando is a pretty film. Sally Potter fails to make whatever feminist point she was trying to make
Special Features for the Orlando Special Edition DVD are Orlando Goes to Russia; Orlando in Uzbekistan; Jimmy was an Angel; Venice Film Festival Press Conference; An Interview with Sally Potter; Select Scenes Commentary with Director Sally Potter