2008: The Year of Tilda

3.10.2008

By Aaron Hicklin

Although she's been performing since the mid 1980s, it's only in the last decade that Tilda Swinton has come to the attention of U.S. filmgoers. Her first Oscar nomination, for Michael Clayton, and upcoming movies with both David Fincher and the Coen brothers, are set to raise her profile further still. Below, five of her movies to watch for in 2008.

Derek
Based on a speech delivered by Swinton at the 2002 Edinburgh International Film Festival and filmed by Isaac Julien (Young Soul Rebels, Looking for Langston), Derek is a tender paean to the great director who died of AIDS at the age of 52.

Burn After Reading
Her first outing with the Coen brothers reunites Swinton with Clooney in a dark spy comedy in which Swinton steals a disk from her soon-to-be ex-husband, John Malkovich, which she leaves at a gym. Also starring Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand, the film opens in September.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slated for a November release, Button is an adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story in which the title character, played by Brad Pitt, starts aging backward. Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac), it's a big, expensive movie, mainly because of the CGI effects needed to transform Pitt.

Julia
Directed by Erick Zonca -- whose beautiful debut, The Dreamlife of Angels, won three C'sars (French Academy Awards), including best film, in 1999 -- the film stars Swinton as a 'floozy with a monumental drinking problem' who ends up on a kidnapping spree. An advance review in The Hollywood Reporter compared Swinton's performance to 'that league of great cinematic alcoholics such as Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in Days of Wine and Roses and Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend.'

Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll
Marilyn Manson steps into the director's chair for this fantasy film in which an author is haunted by visions of a girl named Alice. Manson plays Carroll; English model Lily Cole plays Alice; Swinton plays Carroll's dream wife. Filming starts in June, and release is tentatively scheduled for the end of the year.

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