Vita & Virginia

biography, drama, 1 h 50 m

VITA & VIRGINIA details the intimate relationship between author Virginia Woolf and socialite, Vita SackvilleWest, which was to become the inspiration for Woolf’s Modernist novel, Orlando: A Biography.


Stunningly sublime, exquisite and delicious

VITA & VIRGINIA is the story of Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) and how Vita influenced Virginia’s writing. Directed by Chanya Button; this is an exquisite historical biopic that is delicious and will awaken all of your senses. It will leave you tingling with desire to take yourself to where they lived and loved. You will want to try and capture every moment of the pleasure that pours out of the screen and into your body.

Vita & Virginia is stunningly sublime in every way. The cinematography will leave you breathless with beautiful scenes shot in locations including Greenwich, Knoll and Kew Gardens that will make you want to visit and walk in their footsteps. The soundtrack is moving and powerful, and really brings to life the tension and desire of the scenes it overlays. Despite being set in the 1920s, the music has a modern twist which feeds the ongoing love affair.

The chemistry between Vita and Virginia was palpable, and there is a constant flurry of tension and multiple intimate scenes to please the female viewers with an appreciation for stories showcasing women loving women on screen. For the more literary-loving viewers or biographical lovers, this film offers an amazingly beautiful insight into the relationship of two famous women who were both married, but who found a way to love and live within the constraints of their time.

This film is multi-layered as it portrays the various intricacies of gay and lesbian relationships in both monogamous and polyamorous situations. There are hints of asexuality and cross-dressing that really portray how invisible our herstory is today, but at the same time how visible it was in its time. Without the use of labels, and within societal limits this film shows the great lengths that men and women went to in order to survive and thrive in relationships outside of the expected traditional male lead and submissive female doting wife.

I could have written several essays about each and every scene; this is a film that will be going straight into my collection and will be a firm favourite flying straight into my top 5 lesbian films ever!

BFI Flare 20191 logoWe saw this film as part of the 2019 BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival. The festival is running from 21 March to 31 March 2019.

You can find out more about BFI Flare on their website.

You can also check out our go to guide to women's films at BFI Flare.


Watch the trailer

The Techy bit

To find out more about the cast, crew, genre and where you can get this film, check out the LesFlicks Film Database.