Vita & Virginia (2018)

Vita & Virginia
Director: Chanya Button
Writer: Eileen Atkins, Chanya Button
Based on: Vita Sackville-West‘s and Virginia Woolf‘s letters
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones, Peter Ferdinando, Emerald Fennell, Gethin Anthony, Rory Fleck Byrne, Karla Crome
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 11.9.2018

Vita (Gemma Arterton) and Virginia (Elizabeth Debicki) move in similar social circles, but have yet to meet personally. Vita has admired Virginia from afar and she is determined to become friends with her. Virginia is taken aback by Vita’s adamant attempts at first, but she has to admit that she is also drawn to Vita. It doesn’t take long and they become friends, then lovers, inspiring each other in their writing. Despite their progressive surroundings, not everybody can deal equally well with their relationship though.

With Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf being who they were and having led the lives they led, it is hard to imagine a film about them that wouldn’t be at least interesting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the film would have been well-made. In this case, luckily, the film is not only interesting, it is very well-made indeed.

Film poster showing Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki leaning against each other.
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Director: Michael Longhurst
Writer: Peter Shaffer
Cast: Lucian Msamati, Adam Gillen, Karla Crome, Fleur de Bray, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Sachs
Seen on: 2.2.2017

Antonio Salieri (Lucian Msamati) looks back on his life, especially his relationship with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Adam Gillen). When Mozart arrived at court, Salieri was already a well-established musician. Mozart’s genius swept Vienna, and his music deeply impresses Salieri. But Mozart the man turns out to be a disappointment, pushing Salieri into a deep crisis: why was this simpering fool graced with such musical talent, and he himself wasn’t?

Amadeus is an interesting production of a good (albeit historically inaccurate) play that suffers, though, from its take on Mozart.

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