One of the most wildly talented performers working today, Tilda Swinton brings the utmost care to every movie character she portrays. Whether it’s glossy Hollywood productions like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, intense indie grime like Julia or a seductive romance like the Italian drama I Am Love, Swinton truly transforms on the screen. She makes every character, no matter how weird and despicable, inescapably human. Often pidgeonholed as an Ice Queen after playing them (sometimes literally) in movies like Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton and The Chronicles of Narnia, the truth is that Swinton simply has more emotional range and capacity for risk-taking than anyone else currently working in her profession.
Michael Clayton-Movies like this don’t intend to become a showcase for acting, yet Swinton steals every scene she is in, Clooney be damned. As cutthroat corporate executive Karen Crowder, Swinton shows us a woman whose every ferocious stroke is driven by desperation. For every scene showcasing her aggressiveness, there is one that undermines it, including the legendary final showdown between her and the title character.
The Social Network Directed by: David Fincher Written by: Aaron Sorkin Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer
There are girls playing PlayStation in the next room, and you’re uploading internet code. Such are the ways of kings in the 21st century, and one of the keenest insights made in David Fincher’s The Social Network.
As you probably know by now, this is “The Facebook Movie.” It’s also a potent drama, fueled by stories and themes as ancient as both stories and themes. Betrayal, identity, and the nature of friendship are all at the core of Aaron Sorkin’s stunning screenplay. The Sorkin/Fincher pairing, however unlikely, pays off in spades.
Cate Blanchett has come a long way in a short period of time. One of the actresses to gain momentum in the 2000’s and rise quickly to critical praise, she has become an actress that everyone has seen in at least one movie. It was probably Lord of the Rings, but in no way does that tiny part reveal to us the extraordinary skill this woman posseses. She garnered much of her fame for playing Queen Elizabeth, and became the first person ever to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar-winning actress (Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator.) She selects roles that will take her somewhere new, and by extention she takes us with her. Whether she is a school teacher drawn into an affair with one of her students or Bob Dylan, Blanchett never hesitates to go to places other performers would stumble.