Monday, 4 July 2011


Tilda with her number one fan.
Although Tilda Swinton won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for her role as Karen Crowder in Michael Clayton I still believe she is an underrated actress in the minds of the general public. But if like me you have sampled a good selection of her work you will be aware that she is a formidably gifted actress who has carved out an international reputation amongst the more perceptive viewer. If you’re not familiar with her work there are three films I can highly recommend Orlando (1992) and I Am Love (2009) and Julia (2008).

Julia is a crime drama directed by Erick Zonca, who described it as a French film with English dialogue. It was shot in California and Mexico and stars Ms Swinton in the leading role for which she deservingly won three Best Actress Awards and was nominated for three others for her utterly compelling performance.  After meeting Swinton in Cannes Zonca developed a script especially for her. It started life as a portrait of an alcoholic woman with undeniable loose morals! Swinton was very keen on playing this part as she had been recently toying with a similar idea.

Fired from her job, Julia hits rock bottom and with her judgement clouded by a little too many shots of vodka she hatches a reckless plan. With the encouragement of the child’s mother and an offer of lucrative recompense, she plans to kidnap the 8 year-old grandson of a wealthy businessman, who also happens to be the legal guardian of the child, demanding a ransom for the child’s safe return. With the terrified child in tow, the authorities and some brutal Mexican thugs hot on her heels, she soon realises how totally unprepared she is for life on the run! 

The film premiered at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival and was very well received in Europe but not in America where it went straight to video. The film was originally to be some four and a half hours long but was cut to just over two which consequently prohibited a more detailed back story for the main characters, which I felt was a shame because Swinton is incredibly compelling in the role it would have been interesting to flesh out her character more. The movie is an accomplished piece of energised film making never letting up the tempo and with its wonderfully highlighted colour palette is a joy to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment