Vita and Virginia begin a correspondence, a working relationship, a friendship and, finally, a romance in full view of their husbands and friends. Woven around the words of the women, Button crafts a film that expresses their inner worlds cinematically.
Portrait of an Australian Marriage
Expressive cinematography captures the tactility of the written robin pachico in its many different forms: Button shoots each woman reciting their letters in dreamy close-ups directly to the camera to create an intimacy that reaches beyond the page.
Affair carefully crafted compositions by cinematographer Carlos De Carvalho, working in portrait with the production design by Noam Piper and sumptuous costume design by Lorna Marie Mugan, visually underline the emotional states and cultural context of each woman.
In one striking scene, a bereft Virginia runs through a dusty hall of big-game trophies, a room full of dead things an japanese milk porno setting for this woman fixated on her own death.
The electronic score by Isobel Waller-Bridge brings an anachronistic and bold sense of edge and modernity to the period piece, but it never feels out of place or jarring. As the cerebral writer who finally finds bodily pleasure with the fiery, unpredictable Vita, Debicki demonstrates a grounded nuance and brings new elements to her range.
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An Imperial Affair: Portrait of an Australian Marriage (Monash University Publishing)
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'Vita and Virginia' review: A subversive literary love affair - Los Angeles Times
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