Who else?

Who else but Tilda Swinton could’ve starred in a movie like Orlando (1992)? Who else, upon waking up with a different sex, could plausibly react with a calm surprise, even amusement, that quickly turns to delight? Who else could then turn to the camera with a beatific smile, gazing into the viewer’s soul and making the fourth wall melt away as if it had never been there? No one, I believe, but Tilda.

Honestly, Tilda’s ethereal demeanor and her sun-dappled, androgynous beauty put this scene on par with a religious experience. It’s hard to picture another actor or actress so otherwordly, so precise in his/her every movement or gesture, so serene as to be able to pull this moment off. Only Tilda, with her Jarman-bred poise and her curious warmth, could play Orlando like this and get away with it. She owns this movie—and my heart.

3 Comments

Filed under Cinema

3 responses to “Who else?

  1. Two paragraphs from you puts my whole post on Orlando to shame!

    You summed up, perfectly may I add, why everyone loves Tilda.

    (Love your Eraserhead background btw!!)

    • Aww, thank you so much! Though I have to say, I did read and enjoy your post as well. I was just fortuitously glancing through the Orlando DVD recently, and remembered how incredible this scene is.

      Ah, Tilda… there’s just something about her. Every step she takes to avoid typical movie stardom, every off-the-beaten-path auteur she works with, just makes me love her more and more. Damn, I really need to see Julia!

  2. Her excellence is impossible to fully describe or encapsulate, but you’re certainly close! I really loved her in this film, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her beautiful androgyny led to what I think is the best portrait I’ve ever done, and I thank Tilda so much for her inspiration!

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