Thanks to Jeff Wells for asking me to address where Tilda Swinton stands in relation to the Best Actress Oscar race for the Italian import I Am Love. The only way for Swinton--who is admired by critics and art house audiences alike-- to make the best actress Oscar grade this year for I Am Love (which played the fest circuit before opening in June), is for critics to make a fuss over her in their year-end wraps and ten-best lists, and for critics groups and the Golden Globes to reward her with prizes and nominations and thus turn the screener into a must-see for SAG and Academy actors. Swinton has been nominated once (and won, for Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton).
Metascore critics (32) gave it a 79, which is a strong score--they love Swinton's performance. Who will the critics groups single out for best actress? Will Tilda Swinton beat out Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lawrence, Lesley Manville and Natalie Portman? The problem: someone has to mount a viable campaign for her. Magnolia has not beaten the bushes for Oscars in the past. But the movie reached an almost $5 million gross, which is quite respectable in today's market.
It's not impossible. Folks should check out the film, which while gorgeous and sensuous, is a tad overwrought for my taste. Swinton is simply superb.
Here's my interview with Swinton at release (video and trailer are on the jump):
Part One--I Am Love
Part Two: Orlando Reissue and Passion Projects
Part Three: Film Festivals
TRAILER: I Am Love: