The legendary literary love affair between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West — beautifully played by Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton — is brought to life in this sensuous chronicle of a convention-shattering affair.
It is 1922 in Bloomsbury, London, when the aristocratic socialite and writer Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) first lays eyes on the famous novelist Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki), and vows to pursue her. Thus begins one of the most notorious and convention-shattering love affairs in literary history, which would bear fruit in Woolf’s landmark novel Orlando, whose androgynous, gender-bending title character was based on Vita. This sensuous and highly literate love story, which draws heavily on the letters the two married women exchanged, brings these wildly different personalities to life. Arterton’s headstrong Vita is a flamboyant extrovert, impervious to scandal, but she’s awed by the intellect of her lover. Debicki is astonishing as the introspective, physically awkward Virginia, a woman of piercing insight and fragile sanity. With its lavish costumes and seductive settings, Vita & Virginia transports us into a past that seems a century ahead of its time.