Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton’s 10 Best Movies

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton is a true chameleon.  In her three decades of acting she’s played white witches, greedy corporate shills, eccentric women of every variety, androgynous ancient wizards, archangels, and decrepit old men.  Her best known films: Michael Clayton, Narnia, and Doctor Strange, all featured her, but she usually pops in out of the blue made up in a completely different way than you’ve ever seen her before in a small role that always adds something to the film.  Her crowning achievements, though, are her Oscar-winning role as the desperate corporate lawyer in Michael Clayton and, they may reboot the Narnia series, but they’ll never get a White Witch as dangerous and cunning as Swinton’s.  I always enjoy seeing her name in a cast list, because half the challenge will typically be recognizing which role she played; odds are, it’ll be a standout performance.

Tilda Swinton and George Clooney in Michael Clayton
Tilda Swinton’s Best 10

1. Michael Clayton (2007) Karen Crowder
2. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2005) The White Witch
3. Doctor Strange (2016) The Anicent One
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Madame D.
5. Snowpiercer (2014) Mason
6. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Social Services
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Elizabeth Abbott
8. Burn After Reading (2008) Katie Cox
9. Adaptation. (2002) Valerie Thomas
10. Trainwreck (2015) Diana
Honorable Mention: Vanilla Sky (2001) Rebecca Dearborn

Tilda Swinton in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Oscars, Golden Globes & Emmys

Oscar Wins (1): Michael Clayton (2008)

Oscar Nominations (1): Michael Clayton (2008)

Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer

Golden Globe Wins (0): None

Golden Globe Nominations (3): The Deep End (2002), Michael Clayton (2008), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)

Tilda Swinton in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Emmy Wins (0): None

Emmy Nominations (0): None

Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange

My Favorite Swinton Scene:
“Balance” from Snowpiercer (2013)

Next Film: Swinton is next in the ballerina drama Suspiria (and yes that is her under the make-up).
Tilda Swinton in Suspiria

14 thoughts on “Tilda Swinton’s 10 Best Movies”

  1. Probably my favorite Swinton performances as to be from The Chronicles of Narnia series (she was great as the White Witch) and then probably as the Ancient One from Doctor Strange.

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      1. Clooney tried so hard to shake the Hollywood matinee idol thing (he says that the failure of Batman and Robin changed his life) but I really think he has trouble choosing the right projects. Micheal Clayton, Out of Sight, Three Kings, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ides of March, Ocean’s Eleven, Gravity (I’m being generous by including Ides of March, I liked it but it isn’t really that good a movie)… there are other good ones, but I would argue that the list of misfires is conspicuously long by comparison. I was rewatching The American on TV the other day and I cannot figure out why he made that movie. So unoriginal and cliched. But I still have to give him credit for even trying to take the high road, and I would be lying if I said I did not like the guy a lot. He has a weird intensity and edge to go along with his charisma, and he’s one of the few modern movie stars who feels like he could have been a movie star long ago,

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      2. Good Night and Good Luck and a few other, as well, but yeah he’s been in a big slump for awhile. He’s also a really talented director and producer. Both he and Pitt became better actors once their looks faded a bit, probably because they got offered better parts outside that range. I think Ides of March is a really strong film, actually, and 12 and 13 don’t match 11 but the Ocean’s trilogy really is nothing but a heck of a good time. If I, the biggest Batman fan who exists, do not hold B&R against the man, he’s clearly still had a good career, let us also not forget five years on ER, the best five of one of the best dramas in TV history.

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      3. I am not trying to take away from his accomplishments, and I loved ER all through the period he was on it. I would honestly like to be him, or to have his career. But off the top of my head… Suburbicon, Tomorrowland, Solaris, Leatherheads, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Intolerable Cruelty… these films are so bafflingly unappealing and uncommercial that it goes beyond a few bad choices. There’s a tone deafness going on, and it runs through his whole career. The Monuments Men and Confessions of A Dangerous Mind were not bad IMO, but again, there is something off-putting about them.


      4. I think that he must like taking chances, which is rare, and obviously money is not an issue for him anymore. But his unsuccessful films are aggressively askew. He’s one of those celebrities I’d like having dinner with. Mysterious guy.

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      5. Wait, this is about Swinton, right? She rules. The fact that they got her for Doctor Strange totally makes up for the capitulation to the Chinese censors.

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  2. Your list is right on the money. Swinton is amazing. Her White Witch is so on the nose, I think I was picturing her face when I first read the book as a kid, many years before I had even heard of Swinton. I love her in Snowpiercer, and her character dies too soon in that film. Dramatically I get what she kind of had to, but you’re sorry to see her go.

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