With so many positive and interesting reviews around for the sci-fi actioner Snowpiercer, I just had to give it a try. Firmly categorized under "Dystopian Future," the film follows the few fortunate souls who boarded a luxury train that circumnavigates the globe, and are the sole survivors of a new ice age that has claimed the rest of the world.
Of course, things tend to get a bit weird when you live on a train for seventeen years and can't get off to stretch your legs...ever...so, being the horrible species we are, a harsh caste system emerges that is rife for revolution. Enter Tilda Swinton as The Minister of the Train. If this all sounds a bit comic bookish, that's because Snowpiercer is based on a French graphic novel. Sometimes material translated from graphic novels to the screen can lack three-dimensional characterizations, but take a look at Tilda's performance here and tell me you don't want to see more. Her screen time is relatively short, but her scenes absolutely crackle with brilliance.
The role of The Minister was originally written for a man, but there is no trace of that intent in Swinton's performance. She simply enters and her character takes over—both literally and for the audience. As usual for Swinton, she is nearly unrecognizable under her character's costume and affectations, but it's the performance that is so riveting.
As bleak portraits of our future go, Snowpiercer is watchable if a bit predictable. The hubs and I both guessed several plot twists before they were revealed, and we thought up a better ending (IMHO) than what the film offers, but it does a serviceable job of creating a new world, which is really all one can ever ask for from a piece of entertainment.
If Alec Baldwin can take home an Oscar for a five-minute monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross (see the NSFW or little ears performance here), then maybe a little gold man can go home with Tilda as well.