Happy Birthday, Tilda Swinton! The actress was born in London and began her career in theater and performance art in England before acting in independent films in America. Since then, Swinton has continued starring in indies as well as blockbusters and earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in Michael Clayton.
She also earned Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and BAFTA for Best Actress in leading role nominations for We Need to Talk About Kevin. The film, directed by Lynne Ramsay, follows Eva (Swinton) through the childhood of her psychopathic son (Ezra Miller). “Tilda Swinton gives an extraordinarily rich and complex performance as Eva (a personal best in an already distinguished career),” writes Jan Lisa Huttner in her review, “We Need to Talk about Kevin is the opposite of a conventional psychological drama. Ramsay never pretends to be an omniscient narrator, and her screenplay wastes no time speculating about why Kevin does what he does. In fact, she barely has any interest in Kevin at all, and she certainly doesn’t give him an independent point of view. Ramsay’s film is an epistemological drama, brilliantly confined by Eva’s point of view. The person called ‘Kevin’ is completely Eva’s construction, based totally on her recollection of various incidents from the night he was conceived to the day he went on his rampage.”
Early on in Swinton’s career, she played the titular Orlando in Sally Potter’s film adaption of Virginia Woolf’s novel. In Julia Lasker’s spotlight article on Sally Potter for FF2 Media, she writes, “Orlando’s long life and many adventures allow Potter to explore sex and gender in the context of both geographical space and historical time. In the center is a tour de force performance by the enchantingly androgynous actress, Tilda Swinton.”
In contrast with her tour-de-force drama performances in movies like We Need to Talk About Kevin and Orlando, Swinton can also deliver lighthearted comedy on the silver screen. In Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, Swinton is nearly unrecognizable as Dianna, the cold boss of Amy Schumer’s character. “Trainwreck has its laugh-out-loud moments,” writes Jan Lisa Huttner in her review, “Tilda Swinton as Dianna – the S’nuff editor – does a great job playing to our memories of Meryl Streep as ‘Miranda’ in The Devil Wears Prada.”
Celebrate Tilda Swinton’s birthday by watching We Need to Talk About Kevin on Tubi today!
© Anna Nappi (11/5/21) Special for FF2 Media.
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Featured photo: “Tilda” by didkovskaya is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/