Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Top Fives: Tilda Swinton Movies (You Probably Haven't Seen)

She's great isn't she? Whether ginger, blonde, crazy, sane, boy, girl, naked, clothed you can always count on Tilda Swinton to be superb at what she's doing.

Inspired by a recent discussion of I Am Love here are five movies you should see in which her performance alone is worth the price of admission.

1. I Am Love (2009)
So yes this is the movie that inspired the post, I'll get it out of the way first. I was a bit blah on the movie but others have loved it and Tilda is especially good in it. In fact without here this would just be a really long art film.

2. Young Adam

Neatly combining last weeks list subject with this weeks, Young Adam is a bleak low budget period piece from Britain notable for allowing Ewan McGregor to use his own accent. It's a story of sexual desire and murder on a barge.

3. The War Zone
See this, be amazed, be appalled. Mr Orange directed this incredibly powerful film that has gone largely unnoticed, I would hazard a guess, because of it's content. Solid direction and really superb performances from Tilda and Ray "you fuckin slag" Winstone make this family drama well worth seeing. Warning: Contains strong content that isn't suitable for all.

4. Orlando

Tilda covers everything from medieval boy to modern day working mother in this fantastic piece of cinema based on Virginia Woolf's novel. Check out one of my new favourite blogs Feminising Film for a comprehensive review.

5. The Limits of Control

The most recent film from the great and weird Jim Jarmusch. This movie added Seville to our European trip next year, it made it look so appealing. In typical Jarmusch fashion it's a slow burn film filled with odd characters. It's a crime film, of sorts, about a hitman, maybe. It looks amazing and Tilda has this crazy little role as an intermediary. I can't say you'll love it as much as me but it's well worth experiencing.

What Tilda movies would you recommend? I'd love to hear from anyone who's seen The War Zone, what did you think? Any of these you think I shouldn't be suggesting? Leave your blah below.


  1. I really like Tilda Swinton's face, I think she is really attractive and interesting looking.

    Great list of films i know nothing of!!

  2. Didn't expect you to add a link to Orlando! Thank you so much!! And new favourite blog? Really? Aw man, I am flattered!

    I haven't checked out the other Tilda films (though I am dying to see Limits of Control as I love Jim Jarmusch, and I am Love too.)

    Great list, though. Lord is Tilda wonderful. Jealous? How can anyone not be jealous of Tilda!

  3. This is like the 4th time in recent weeks I've been reminded to watch Orlando. I guess I should really try and find it now.

    I haven't seen Young Adam either but it looks like I should add that to my backlog as well.

  4. Fabulous. Especially love Orlando and I Am Love. Anywhere a Swinton post shows up, it seems I can be generally counted on to comment (stupid girl crush).

    Have you seen Julia? That one was on my best of list in 2009 (I think it was that year?) and is pretty damn impressive; hinged almost entirely on her performance (as a manic, alchoholic American involved in a kidnapping plot). Definitely pushes its way onto the list ahead of Limits of Control for me. Have a feeling We Need to Talk About Kevin will climb into the top 5 as well, as the character in the novel is a force of nature.

  5. Of the films in that list, the only ones I haven't seen are I Am Love (which I'm waiting for to arrive on TV) and The War Zone.

    She is definitely talented as I'm eager to see We Need to Talk About Kevin.

  6. Swinton is definitely one of the great actresses of her generation. She even made a crappy movie like The Beach worth watching (well... that wasn't THAT bad). I'll be honest, though: I haven't seen any of the movies on this list.

  7. @SL - why does this not surprise me?! of these picks i think YOUNG ADAM might be the one for you. back when it came out blockbuster were selling the DVD for 1GBP as a sales gimmick. there's bound to be many copies sitting around unwatched somehwere.

    @CHEROKEE - thank you and you're welcome. your blog gives a nice counterpoint to others that i read.

    it's difficult not to be jealous of her, there's so much to be jealous of! i think i am mostly jealous that she is able to choose exactly what she role she wants to play next.

    @BT - they gave copies of ORLANDO away with a British newspaper many years ago, that should help youu locate a cheap R2 copy.

    @W.D - thanks for stopping by. i hadn't even heard of Julia but a quick imdb combined with your rec has left me wanting to see it.

    I've not read the Lionel Shriver novel but i think i'll give the movie a go.

    @VOID - it's a good call to see I AM LOVE for free but i highly recommend THE WAR ZONE even if you have to rent it or something.

    You're eager for WE NEED TO TALK... because of Tilda? I know nothing about this movie except it was a book (like almost everything else)

    @TYLER - ahh The Beach. That might go on the reverse list Good Actors Bad Movies if i do it. I remember thinking it was pretty poor despite enjoying the book as a 16 year old and have never revisited it.

    If i had to pick one of these 5 for you Tyler i would say LIMITS OF CONTROL as it is the least traditional of all of them or ORLANDO as it is stunning and gives a WTF response if you don't know the story in advance.

  8. Indeed, I have seen none of these ah.

  9. castor - but should you get the chance which one would you see? or have you previously dismissed them from your life?

  10. She's very ... eccentric. I haven't really warmed up to her yet tbh.
    I really dug Young Adam though, and The War Zone seems really interesting, so I'll add that to my 'list'.

  11. You're right, I haven't seen any of these, but I think I should get around to it, since I'm in the same boat as BT, and people keep telling me to watch Orlando.

    I also agree with 5plitreel a bit. I think she does strange parts very well, but I still haven't forgiven her for Constantine.

  12. Actually, the big reason I want to see We Need to Talk about Kevin is because it's directed by Lynne Ramsay who hadn't made a film in 9 years. I've recently discovered her work and just fell in love with the films she's made.

  13. I Am Love... whatta great flick. Also, The Deep End.

  14. Really need to see Limits of Control, love Jim jarmusch' work.

  15. I love her so much! She is so great in ORLANDO, THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, and I AM LOVE, you are correct! I have yet to see the other two but they both sound interesting. I didn't know Tim Roth had directed anything! I still have so many of her movies to see.

    Other Tilda performance favorites are: CONSTANTINE, THUMBSUCKER, and BURN AFTER READING. For a weird one that I don't think many people saw, there's TEKNOLUST, in which she actually plays four parts!

  16. @ANNA - Interesting that you've seen Young Adam, but then I guess you're honorary Scots aren't you? I can see why people might not like her, I was the same with JULIANNE MOORE for a while (I blame HANNIBAL)

    @ALAN - I hope you love it when you finally see it. or at least are mildly impressed. CONSTANTINE....I wish it didn't exist.

    @VOID - i admit, i had to imdb RAMSAY. But yeah the director of RATCATCHER and GASMAN is well worth a watch. What has she been doing all this time?

    @ALEX W - I have a vague recollection of watching THE DEEP END but i don't remember much about it.

    @VIK V. - If you;re a fan of JARMUSCH then definitely see LIMIT OF CONTROL. It may be thats the only way you can really appreciate the film.

    @ALEX - It's surprising ROTH hasn't directed more after the quality of his debut but I guess he's busy watching people lie and raking in the cash right now. As mentioned above I can't get behind anything positive about CONSTANTINE but TEKNOLUST was so incredibly weird, beyond what I anticipated too!

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