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Happy Birthday Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Tilda #SaturdayMatinee

Tilda Swinton—much easier to see her as Tilda than her given name Katherine Mathilda—turns 56 today. The actor blessed with aristocratic, angular good looks is currently stealing scenes as The Ancient One in Dr. Strange, the latest Marvel movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The casting of Swinton as the comic books’ Tibetan monk character has been harshly criticized as white-washing by many while others indicate only Swinton has the ability to take the role from stereotype to otherworldly. Note what Peter DeBruge wrote in Variety:
“Meanwhile, much has already been written about the casting of the white-skinned Swinton in a role originally conceived as an old Asian man (as if the world needs yet another Mister Miyagi/Pai Mei stereotype), when the only real disappointment there is that the practically extraterrestrial star wasn’t asked to play the title role — because who is stranger? Swinton already walks this earth in some sort of enlightened state, and it’s no far leap to accept her as an ageless oracle with the power to bend matter and slow time.’’
Walking this earth in some sort of enlightened state’’ that’s Swinton and what’s also true is that Swinton fans rarely do get to see her in the leading role. The winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Michael Clayton is most often, sadly, cast in standout but supporting parts. 

Today’s Saturday Matinee We Need to Talk About Kevin gives Swinton lovers plenty of Swinton to love. Not that her character, Eva Khatchadourian, is exactly lovable. A reluctant mother, Eva’s own issues might be said to play a part in Kevin’s behavior. Or he could just be a demon seed. Reading the book, the entire nature vs nurture debate, often sprang to mind. Nuanced, tough, with a devastating emotional arc, Swinton was nominated for Best Actress by the Golden Globes, BAFTA, BIFA (British Independent Film Awards), SAG and critics associations around the world but ignored by the Academy. In 2011 when the film came out, the academy was even more of an older white male dominated body. I can see the voters staying away from and feeling uncomfortable with the controversial material. 

Roger Ebert gave We Need to Talk About Kevin, based on the book by Lionel Shriver 4 stars. You can stream the R-rated film today on HULU—where it’s free—Vudu, GooglePlay, iTunes and Amazon.

We Need to Talk About Kevin directed by Lynne Ramsay also features John C. Reilly and a standout performance by Ezra Miller.