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:: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Five minutes into We Need To Talk About Kevin and I didn’t think I would be sitting here praising the film to our loyal readers. Early on it seemed to be taking the same path as My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done in that it was so alternative in style that it was virtually impossible to understand, but then the clarity took over and now I can honestly say that this is one of the best films of 2011.

For Eva (Tilda Swinton) motherhood hasn’t been the joy that most mothers seem to enjoy. It is obvious that she resents Franklin (John C. Reilly) for getting her pregnant, and that resentment seems to have been passed on her child. As a toddler, Kevin (Rock Duer) he doesn’t speak to her, as a child (Jasper Newell) his hatred for her becomes more evident and, by the time he is a teenager, Kevin (Ezra Miller) has truly become something sinister. When Kevin finally does something it is unfortunately Eva who seems to be paying the highest price for it.

Lynne Ramsay has done a brilliant job bringing this challenging screenplay to the big screen… it certainly would not have been an easy thing to do. With the help of a talented cinematographer Ramsay has made the film look amazing but at the same time has done a great job keeping the audience in suspense to what Kevin has actually done. If you are considering seeing this film I would avoid trying to find out what he does because part of the experience of this film is sitting there and thinking “he’s done something terrible…but what is it?” Ramsay certainly takes a leaf out of Hitchcock’s style of directing; placing all the titbits there for you to work it out and then she reveals it with explosive force.

Part of the reason that We Need To Talk About Kevin works so well is because of how in-depth the script goes into the characters. Eva and Kevin are two of the strangest characters to ever grace the big screen but the film really does give you an amazing insight into them. So well written is the film that it truly deserves to take home a few awards for its scriptwriting.

Likewise some of the actors should be being mentioned in the same sentence as some of the major awards. Tilda Swinton again reminds the audience how talented she is, but the promising signs here are the three actors that play Kevin. Ezra Miller is truly sensational, a standout in a challenging role (that should attract some award nominations) while both Jasper Newell and Rock Duer announce themselves as future talents. A mention must also be made of John C. Reilly, it’s great to see him in a meatier role than the comedies he’s tackled recently. He was a risky casting choice by the producers but he certainly repays their trust with a performance that sees him grow as an actor.

Don’t be put off by We Need To Talk About Kevin’s alternative opening… in hindsight it turns out to be one of the best opening sequences to a film we have seen in a long time. This is an intense drama that is certainly award-worthy.