Sunday, November 15, 2015

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Stewart Kinnear, Lionel Shriver

Composer: Jonny Greenwood

Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rock Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich, Siobhan Fallon, Alex Manette, Leslie Lyles, Paul Diomede

More info: IMDb

Plot: Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

If you watch the trailer STOP WATCHING 15 seconds before the end or you'll get a huge hint at a severe spoiler and it will tremendously lessen the impact of the film.  I didn't know anything about this going in and that's the best way to approach this.  From the start the picture has a surreal feel that continues for quite a while until it's apparent that something bad is going to happen (the film has layers of flashbacks).  That moment when it does is surprising (well, it was to me.  I just gave myself to the film and didn't question anything except 'what the hell is going on?') but it's not an M. Night twist that makes the picture.  It does explain the events up to that point and it does serve as the anchor for the picture but it raises so many questions about these characters.  More than that it made me think about how I think I would have handled it (across the board and not just from raising an incredibly difficult child), before and after the important event.  The performances are strong and it's a well-told story cinematically.  If you watch it and wonder if all of this makes sense and if the film making choices have a purpose, you'll get satisfaction in the final minutes of the picture. The Oscilloscope DVD comes with a few extras but sadly no commentary.  You get the usual trailers for other Oscilloscope films (4 total), the original theatrical trailer for this picture, a behind the scenes featurette (27 minutes), 4 minutes of footage from La Tomatino (the tomato fight festival held annual in Bunol, Spain, the opening scene of the film was shot there), a film festival interview with Tilda Swinton (18 minutes) and a 4 minute interview with the author, Lionel Shriver.

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