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The film about the groundbreaking writers and lovers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.
Relative to previous years, 2018 will go down as one of the best for depictions of queer women in the movies. The films about lesbian or bisexual women that have or will be released this year include Disobedience, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Colette, The Favourite, Lizzie, Becks, and Duck Butter. Fingers crossed that another gets added to the list if the big screen adaptation of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West's abiding love Vita and Virginia, ever finally gets a 2018 release date. The good news is that is premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11. Even if general audiences have to wait a while longer for the film to hit theaters, there is finally a fiery clip that gives viewers a glimpse of what to expect.
Vita and Virginia, from director Chanya Button, stars Elizabeth Debicki as the great modernist, feminist writer Woolf and Gemma Arterton (who executive produced the film) as poet and novelist West. Arterton is on a roll blaying bisexual women. Just this week, it was announced that Arterton would play Dusty Springfield in a biopic about the queer British chanteuse that will be written and directed by Carol's Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy.
Vita and Virginia reportedly tells the story of how their relationship inspired Woolf to write the epic novel Orlando.
The clip crosscuts between Debicki's Woolf fast at work at her writing table while Arterton's West spars with her husband Sir Harold Nicolson (Rupert Penry-Jones) over gender roles on a BBC radio show.
"I enjoy the qualities in myself that may be said to be "masculine," West says.
"So do I, darling," her husband quips. "Nevertheless, I would argue, the most virile woman is infinitely more feminine than the most feminine man. "
"That kind of thinking implies damaging absolutes. That there is something absolutely passive about the woman," West responds. "And therefore, that it should always be the woman that surrenders her opportunities."
"Independence has no sex," West says before the film cuts back to Woolf taking a long drag off of a cigarette.
Vita and Virginia premieres at the Toronto Film Festival September 11.