Vita & Virginia

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Vita & Virginia
Vita and Virginia poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChanya Button
Written by
Based onVita & Virginia
by Eileen Atkins
Produced by
  • Evangelo Kioussis
  • Katie Holly
  • Shashank Shambharkar
CinematographyCarlos De Carvalho
Edited byMark Trend
Music byIsobel Waller-Bridge
Distributed byThunderbird Releasing
Release dates
  • 11 September 2018 (2018-09-11) (TIFF)
  • 5 July 2019 (2019-07-05) (United Kingdom and Ireland)
Running time
110 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
Box office$789,095[1]

Vita & Virginia is a 2018 biographical romantic drama film directed by Chanya Button. The screenplay, written by Button and Eileen Atkins, is adapted from the 1992 play Vita & Virginia by Atkins.[2] The film stars Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, and Isabella Rossellini. Set in the 1920s, Vita & Virginia tells the story of the love affair between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.

The film had its world premiere as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 2018.[3][4] It was released in the United Kingdom on 5 July 2019, and in the United States on 23 August 2019.


Set in the 1920s, the writers Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf move in different London circles. When they meet, Vita decides Virginia will be her next conquest. They have an affair against the background of each of their open marriages.[5]



On 30 June 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported that British director Chanya Button[a] was to direct Vita and Virginia from a script by Eileen Atkins,[7] with Evangelo Kioussis of Mirror Productions and Katie Holly of Bl!nder Films as producers.[7][8][9][10][excessive citations] The screenplay is based on Atkins' stage play Vita & Virginia.[6] Gemma Arterton, who also became an executive producer of the film, had received the first draft from Atkins years before and showed it to Button; and Button subsequently co-wrote the final script with Atkins.[6]

On 8 February 2017, it was announced that Eva Green and Gemma Arterton had been cast in the film.[11][12][b] In May 2017, it was reported that Green had left the project due to scheduling conflicts.[citation needed] Green was replaced by Andrea Riseborough.[13] Elizabeth Debicki was eventually cast in the role of Woolf in August 2017, with Isabella Rossellini also joining the production.[14][15][16]

Financing was procured from the Irish Film Board, Piccadilly Pictures, Sampsonic Media, and Lipsync Productions; with Protagonist Pictures handling international sales.[6] Principal photography began in September 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.[17][6]

In August 2017, Thunderbird Releasing acquired the distribution rights for the United Kingdom.[16][18] Distribution rights for Germany were acquired by NFP, Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films, Czech Republic and Slovakia by CinemArt, Greece by Seven Films, Hong Kong by EDKO, Israel by Forum Film, Poland by M2 Films, Portugal by Lusumundo, and in the former Yugoslavia by MCF.[14]

The first film still was released by Protagonist Pictures on 1 November 2017.[19][20]


The world premiere was held at the Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 2018.[21][4][22] It was selected as the opening night film of the 2019 Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco.[23]

Vita and Virginia was released theatrically in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 5 July 2019 by Thunderbird Releasing.[24][25] It was released in the United States on 23 August 2019 by IFC Films.[26]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on video on demand (VOD) in the US on 30 August 2019.[26]


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 41% approval rating based on 92 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Vita & Virginia takes a well-acted and initially intriguing look at the relationship between its real-life protagonists, but is undone by unsatisfying storytelling."[27] According to Metacritic, which sampled the opinions of 18 critics and calculated a score of 43 out of 100, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[28]


  1. ^ Sacha Polak had come on board as director in 2014 but withdrew from the project soon after.[6]
  2. ^ Romola Garai was originally cast in the role of Virginia Woolf.[6]


  1. ^ "Vita and Virginia (2019)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. ^ Atkins, Eileen (1995). Vita & Virginia (PDF). Samuel French, Inc. ISBN 0-573-13012-4.
  3. ^ Kay, Jeremy (14 August 2018). "Toronto unveils Contemporary World Cinema, more Galas and Special Presentations". Screen Daily. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b White, Peter (7 September 2018). "'Vita & Virginia': Gemma Arterton and Rupert Penry-Jones Duel In First Clip Of Chanya Button's Period Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ Vita & Virginia – Synopsis. (2019). Protagonist Pictures.
  6. ^ a b c d e f McCarthy, Esther (18 February 2018). "'Vita & Virginia' with Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki: exclusive new image and set report". Screen Daily. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (30 June 2016). "Story About Virginia Woolf & Vita Sackville-West Love Affair Headed To The Big Screen". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  8. ^ Knox, Kirsty Blake (2 February 2017). "Woolf's love story gets Irish producer's touch". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  9. ^ McNeice, Katie (13 February 2017). "Blinder Films to Co-Produce 'Vita & Virginia' starring Eva Green & Gemma Arterton". Irish Film & Television Network. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Final Cast Announced for Irish/UK Creative Co-Production, Vita and Virginia". Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  11. ^ Staff (8 February 2017). "Eva Green, Gemma Arterton to Star in Virginia Woolf Movie 'Vita & Virginia'". Variety. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  12. ^ Pulver, Andrew (8 February 2017). "Gemma Arterton and Eva Green cast in Virginia Woolf lesbian romance". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  13. ^ The Playlist [@ThePlaylist] (19 May 2017). "Andrea Riseborough Replaces Eva Green In 'Vita & Virginia' With Gemma". Twitter. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  14. ^ a b Grater, Tom (23 August 2017). "Elizabeth Debicki replaces Eva Green in lesbian romance 'Vita & Virginia'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  15. ^ Roxborough, Scott (23 August 2017). "Elizabeth Debicki to Play Virginia Woolf in 'Vita & Virginia'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  16. ^ a b Mitchell, Robert (23 August 2017). "Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini Join Virginia Woolf Biopic 'Vita & Virginia'". Variety. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  17. ^ Evry, Max (1 November 2017). "First Look at Debicki & Arterton in Vita & Virginia". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Vita & Virginia". Thunderbird Releasing. 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  19. ^ Horst, Carole (1 November 2017). "AFM First Look: Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton in 'Vita & Virginia'". Variety. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  20. ^ Murphy, Niall (1 November 2017). "#IrishFilm: First image from Chanya Button's Vita & Virginia, produced by Blinder Films". Scannain. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Vita & Virginia". Toronto International Film Festival. 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  22. ^ Kiang, Jessica (18 September 2018). "Toronto Film Review: 'Vita & Virginia'". Variety. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  23. ^ Dry, Jude (30 April 2019). "Frameline 2019: Judy Garland, Virginia Woolf Movies Head Up San Francisco LGBTQ Film Festival". IndieWire. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  24. ^ Alexander, Ella (16 April 2019). "Watch: the trailer for Vita & Virginia is here". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  25. ^ "Vita and Virginia". Launching Films. Film Distributors' Association. 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Vita & Virginia". IFC Films. 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  27. ^ "Vita & Virginia (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Vita & Virginia Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved 4 January 2021.

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