January 15, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 2011

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay & Rory Stewart Kinnear
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, & John C. Reilly

Eva Katchadourian (Swinton) deals with the various trials and tribulations of raising her very disturbed son Kevin (Miller), including the aftermath of a high school massacre he perpetrates.

Kevin is one of a multitude of films where the performances surpass the work as a whole. Miller (as well as the child actor playing a younger version of his character) spends most of his screentime being absolutely terrifying, and Swinton is incredible as the woman living in fear of her uncontrollable, violent offspring. In her scenes following the incident, she has an intense hollowness about her that is unattainable by most great actors. Unfortunately, I had a major problem with the structure of the film. It's massively non-linear, told through not-quite-chronological flashbacks. It even starts out with an entirely pointless scene in the Tomatina, in which Eva is barely recognizable. However, things start being clear about 45 minutes in, and the stellar performances begin to take hold. B

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