Monday, November 23, 2009

Nobody Did It Better...

... than Tilda Swinton in Julia this year.

JA from MNPP here. You show me an actress' performance from 2009 and I will show you the shadow that Tilda's Julia casts across it, engulfs it with, and then takes it down in three swift gulps, perhaps letting out a valiant belch in a vague and half-remembered recognition of their effort.

I was reminded of this while reading Glenn's piece on the film at Stale Popcorn this morning and it made me angry. Angry! Angry that she's really nowhere near the Oscar's already insane echo-chamber of self-propelled hype this year. "Oh she won two years ago." "Oh her film opened way back in nowhere-land."

And? Tilda's Julia rips the cooking sherry out of Meryl's Julia's hand and bashes her in the head with it. She climbs into bed with Abbie's Fanny and invites that whinging Keats over for threesies (but then just throws up over the side and passes out, naturally). She stuff's Gaby's Precious in the trunk of a stolen car and then loses her in the desert.

She wins even though she's not trying.

And they're not trying, so oh well. Just another one of the greats that'll slip by because of whatever political nonsense they wanna ascribe to it. So I wanna know this: which early non-contenders from this year's race are bumming you out the most? See it is still early so maybe if I just shout about Tilda a bunch people will remember. Shout! This is me shouting! Shout about yours in the comments. No actor left behind! (Or director, or writer, or cinematographer... so on.)


Robert Hamer said...

It drives me crazy that Anthony Mackie seems to have almost no Best Supporting Actor buzz for his achingly human portrayal of Sgt. Sanborn.

Here is the perfect opportunity to recognize a talented, up-and-coming character actor and instead the pundits are all buzzing about Stanley Tucci and Alec Baldwin in films that haven't even been released yet.

There's all sorts of talk for The Hurt Locker for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and a slew of technical awards but barely a whisper for Mackie...WHY?!? It's the best supporting performance I've seen so far this year (Christoph Waltz was a lead in Inglorious Basterds).

Howler said...

I seriously can't wrap my head around how come this performance didn't get any Oscar buzz while Meryl Streep's JULIA seems like a sure thing at this point.
I'll keep my thoughts on Meryl's performance to myself (well, I'll just say I preferred her in "Mamma Mia!" despite the awfulness of the film, because I could at least feel sincere fun she's had making it), but it's not like people have never heard of Tilda, so what's going on?

J.L said...

The Whole "Everlasting Moments" movie. Though it isn't the 60s or 70s anymore, so foreign movies is having a hard time :(

Towelie said...

Sam Rockwell, please. We want Sam Rockwell, everybody loved that! I would even nominate Moon for Best Picture.

emmanuel ramos barajas said...

And now with people like Sandra Bullock in the running, I feel more depressed. No matter how good Bullock is, Tilda is still a thousand times better, but Bullock will probably get nominated for being more "well known."

Stéphane said...

Bullock will NOT be nominated. I have a feeling AMPAS doesn't take her seriously at all.
My lineup:

Andrew K. said...

Michelle Pfeiffer's non buzz and to an extent Rupert Friend in The Young Victoria. But essentially I'm really annoyed about the lack of buzz for Pfeiffer. I know, it's hated now, but still. I think it's way more deserving that some other performers. Ah well.

Hayden said...

Gwyneth Paltrow is superb in Two Lovers. It makes me sad that Joaquin Phoenix's performance and subsequent drop off the deep end (which still won't earn any awards traction) has overshadowed her so much. It's another fabulous performance from one of the most underappreciated movie stars/actresses/pedigreed celebrities of our time.

There are few women so excellent at portraying fractured characters as Gwyneth. Another knockout performance she can add to her lengthy portfolio of performances Oscar didn't care about. Thank god she won for Shakespeare in Love, because the Academy has ignored the dozen or so instances where she's deserved their love even more.

I hate that she's been rewritten as such a lightweight.

Michael C. said...

I don't have time to go into detail at the moment, so I'll take your advice and get some shouting done.


Peter Capaldi! Peter Capaldi! Peter Capaldi! Peter Capaldi!

Thank you.

Robert said...

Coraline and Orphan need to be up for Best Original Score!!!!

Phew. That felt good. I should scream out false buzz more often.

Joseph Gordon Levitt in (500) Days of Summer for Best Actor! District 9 for Best Picture!

Ok, I'll stop now.

Emma said...

Looks to be a very interesting performance.

Sean said...

I completely agree with this entire article. I loved Streep in Julie and Julia, but so far I haven't seen any other performances rise to the level of Swinton's Julia.

I also wish that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had some Oscar Buzz for '500 Days of Summer,' but there's an infinite number of reasons I can think of why he won't be nominated.

Here are some others I thought of that have absolutely no chance, but that I don't feel as passionately about as Swinton and Gordon-Levitt:

Robin Wright Penn in 'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee'
Michael Fassbender in 'Hunger'
Peter Capaldi in 'In The Loop'

Jake D said...

Jim Broadbent should be in the race for Supp. Actor, and I wouldn't mind seeing Isabelle Fuhrman in Lead Actress for Orphan or even Marion Cotillard for Public Enemies (remember when everyone thought Johnny Depp was going to get a nom this year?).

Also, Harry Potter should be up for Cinematography and Art Direction (Art Direction is still likely, but Cinematography probably not).


robert -- i imagine the Mackie thing will change once precursors start and once the campaigns get fierce.

or at least i hope so... though is it really a supporting role?

billybil said...

You know - I worship Streep with all my soul but even I have to suspect that Tilda deserves recognition more for her JULIA than Meryl does. Ah it hurts my soul but I also HATE, HATE, HATE it when an actress goes all out and blows the wallpaper off of our complacent acceptance of acting and then doesn't at least get a nomination out of it!!! I couldn't seriously bitch about Meryl's few times of really being cheated if I didn't acknowledge that there are other actresses out there who have their moments and, certainly, although I haven't seen it, it sounds like Swinton had one this year. Anyway - I hope you can shout it loud enough so at least she gets a nomination!!!

fig said...

Joseph Gordon Levitt in (500) Days of Summer!!!!!!!!!!! He has been brilliant for so long now giving us such amazing performances left and right, from The Lookout to Mysterious Skin! He made this movie what it is and what it is, is amazing! Im hoping that He wins the Golden Globe and that makes everyone think for a second "oh holy shit thats right this guy is brilliant!"

gduncan said...

I wish that Whip It and Adam,
especially Whip It,were getting more attention. I think Fox Searchlight did a terrible job promoting these two films. I especially feel bad for Drew Barrymore,because I know she worked really hard working on Whip It. I wish that Ellen Page and Hugh Dancy could at least get Spirit or Golden Satellite nods. I know i'm probably setting my hopes way too high for these two great films.

MRRIPLEY said...

I though brian geraghty was jsut as god in the hurt locker.


ThaDropDownBear said...

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in watchmen. I havent even read a positive word about him in the film i mean its a dead-on, charismatic and very memorable take on the character. I mean hes best in show and hes barely in the movie. There were better supporting performances this year but... His was quite spirited.

That and matt damon in the informant!, one of his best performances undoubtebly. His best actor snub will piss me off i assure you = ).

Leith said...

For all its buzz in the best picture race, how come no one is talking about Michael Stuhlbarg in A SERIOUS MAN?


@Leith i'm guessing it's his non-star profile and that the Coen Bros are always the true stars of their films.

Ryan T. said...

In August, I listed performances that I thought were the highlights of the first half of the year. The top four consisted of the two Julias (Meryl and Tilda) as well as JGL in 500 Days and Sharlto Copley in D9.

And so clearly I agree with many who say that Tilda knocked it out of the park, but as to why she there is no buzz as opposed to Meryl? BOX OFFICE.

Julia - $65,108
Julie & Julia - $93,900,336

Scott said...

I love this post and completely agree. Tilda Swinton gave the best performance I've seen this year. I'm also happy to see Gordon-Levitt and Mackie noted here.

rosengje said...

I'm pushing for Peter Capaldi and some script recognition for In the Loop. Why is there no buzz for this movie? IFC on Demand is a great service but it cannibalizes so many potential awards contenders.

adri said...

Yes, Swinton is almost always a revelation of one kind or another. I'd love to see this one.

I'm annoyed that Melanie Laurent is considered a longshot. She gave one of the strongest, most original portrayals of the year, either as Supporting OR Lead.

Having just seen "An Education", why isn't Rosamund Pike in all the Supporting lists? It's a perfect turn, what Supporting is meant to honor.

Having seen some more of the "lock" movies, "500 Days", "Inglourious Basterds", "Sunshine Cleaning", and "Cheri" are starting to seem a lot stronger to me now. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are as good as other names proffered. And, yes, Michelle Pfeiffer should be in the lineup too.

And my single vote that no-one else agrees with is "The International" for editing.

gduncan said...

I'm curious, can a movie somehow get pushed or nominated for awards without an FYC campaign? Are films like Whip It and Moon able to get the attention of voters without the studios fully backing them? I'm livid with both Fox Searchlight and SPC for not pushing these films! They can at least try, I just don't understand. It kills me! Are they suffering financially that much that they can't create a simple ad for these films? I'd like to start a grassroots campaign for Whip It, like the one Moon already has, but I know it will get absolutely nowhere. :(

Alex said...

"Where the Wild Things Are" for Picture, Director, and other technicals. Especially Director; I thought Spike Jonze did the best job of any director this year (thus far, of course). If James Gandolfini were eligible, I'd be pushing for Supporting Actor too.

Glenn said...

Poor Tilda. Such a shame that she won't be nominated for anything.

Amir said...

i liked tilda swinton but i think she wasn't at her best in julia.
great performance but definitely didn't top herself at least.

but i have to shout:

Anonymous said...

Anthony Mackie, Peter Capaldi, Melanie Laurent, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Sheen, Kristin Stewart (I predict Adventureland will age exponentially better than any of the 4 prestige pictures we've been waiting on)

Caden Cotard said...

For best picture, "Where the Wild Things Are."

For actor, Peter Sarsgaard ("An Education"), Willem Dafoe ("Antichrist"), Jeremy Renning ("Hurt Locker") and Michael Stuhlbarg ("Serious Man").

For actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg ("Antichrist") and yes, Tilda.

For supporting actor, [don't hate] Jackie Earle Haley ("Watchmen"), ANTHONY MACKIE ("Hurt Locker"), Paul Schneider ("Bright Star" and totally underappreciated) and I'll be crazy and suggest Joshua Leonard ("Humpday") and Tamar Novas ("Broken Embraces").

For supporting actress, Rosamunde Pike, Melanie Laurent and Blanca Portillo ("Broken Embraces").

adam k. said...

Swinton really was fantastic in Julia. I remember thinking originally that the reason it had no buzz was that it wasn't eligible (i.e. it really opened LAST year), but since I found out she is eligible, I'm PISSED. Is there really no hope?

I can't remember the last time an early-year performance had such passionate and unanimous support from bloggers/critics/people who care, all year long. I guess, arguably, by some accounts (*cough*Nat*cough*), there were Joan Allen and Julie Christie this decade. But this is different. It's like once you saw Swinton you just didn't even EXPECT anyone to top her ALL YEAR. It was that riveting and extraordinary. She's had my own personal gold medal sewn up since January.

It's still the best perf (in any category) I've seen all year. Surely, she must be headed for noms/wins somewhere. Indy Spirit Awards? (where she should get nominated but would probably lose to Sidibe). NYFCC? They're highbrow enough to go for her. BAFTA?

I would jump for joy if the NBR or someone picked her early on and threw us all for a loop. I'm telling myself that that's still possible, that she'll surprise us and be in the thick of the race, and that all this hand-wringing will prove to be in vain. We'll see...

Danny King said...

I'm going to repeat a couple:

Mackie/Geraghty from The Hurt Locker
Dafoe/Gainsbourg from Antichrist

Aaron said...

"Tilda's Julia rips the cooking sherry out of Meryl's Julia's hand and bashes her in the head with it. She climbs into bed with Abbie's Fanny and invites that whinging Keats over for threesies (but then just throws up over the side and passes out, naturally). She stuff's Gaby's Precious in the trunk of a stolen car and then loses her in the desert."

Can I just say this was the funniest shit that I have read in a LONG time???? LMFAO!

Tilda is great, great, great! She deserves every accolade she can get! I have a feeling she will at least show up somewhere during the awards season.

Jim T said...

Just saw Julia. It was a really good movie. Swinton is amazing!! She doesn't rest for a moment! She does everything there is to do! Words are unnecassary. Just !!!!!!

Andrew David said...

Michael Stuhlbarg in A Serious Man. Really, really great.

And I cannot WAIT to see Julia.

Steolicious said...

Tilda Swinton delivers the best performance this year as Julia. But it isn´t oscar-stuff...

Unknown said...


Hugh Dancy should be acknowledged for his excellent performance in Adam, Fox Searchlight did not do enough to promote this film, it won an award at Sundance and nobody even noticed it.

adam k. said...

Please, please, HFPA, give us a GG drama nod.

I don't think that's too much to ask. They did nominate her for The Deep End.