Thursday, May 14, 2009

Julia

Remember my slightly concerning SWINTON obsession? Just scroll down. Well, developments continue to unfold, the biggest being that TWO of my friends have seen her in person the past two weeks. Both John and Annie spotted dear Tilda at movie premieres, one in Cannes yesterday and the other in good old New York a week prior. My first question to both of them (as yours is too, I'm sure) is what was she wearing. A stunning Cabernet colored gown to one, and a burlap sack to the other, I am pleased to say.

But that isn't the point. The point is the film. I saw Julia last Saturday at the Angelika, where the soda is serve yourself, allowing as many refills as you please of your own flavor concoctions like 'half diet coke half regular coke' which is a Sarah Butler favorite (I love the Angelika.)

I first saw the Julia trailer with Alex a few weeks ago, and he predicted that the film would be a one woman show, its merit based solely on Swinton's performance. It might as well have been called Tilda. He was very right, as is always the case in matters such as this, but we both agreed it didn't discount the film as a whole.

The title character is a severe alcoholic turned kidnapper. I know. Its a little intense. And don't go in thinking it will be a nice little afternoon at the movies, this one's a doosey-- edge of your seat, hand over mouth, eyes wide in panic.

Most of the SWINTON press interviews for Julia centered around the alcoholism aspect of the film as if the addiction was the main plot. She tried to sidestep much of this focus during these interviews, and I can see why. The alcohol played part in her character's placement in life and therefore the crime but wasn't necessarily addressed as an issue. It was a trait, a costume. But it wasn't the movie, not in the least. The film was about The Human Condition, as so many good films are. It was about how far we can be pushed, and what we will do midst the pushing.

SWINTON herself was just ravishing in this role... she said in the fore mentioned interviews that she has been waiting and wanting to play a woman so catastrophically flawed and that Eric Zonca finally gave her the girl she was looking for. It isn't what we expect from SWINTON. She wasn't buttoned up, confident, snappy, and cold as she does so well-- she was messy, stumbling, and crass.

The costumes, for one, were shocking to see on our dear burlap sack fashionista... tiny slip dresses, big earrings, lots of makeup, slutty bras. We have NEVER seen SWINTON like this. She in fact often faltered toward 'drag queen' due to her northern androgynous features. This perhaps aided in our discomfort with the character, though I doubt it was planned.

SWINTON nailed the train wreck as she intended. The entire film was just mess in plot and circumstance. It began in a bar and ended in the slums of Tijuana, tumbling through the desert in between. It was uncomfortable, it was dangerous, it was thrilling. And our leading lady was an absoulte steam engine. And even when falling off her tracks, we could do nothing but lean into every word, every wrong decision, licking our lips for more.

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

you write beautifully and i see film critic in my crystal ball...somewhere.