Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
In Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, a middle-aged woman (Tilda Swinton) has a difficult, distant relationship with her son (City Island’s Ezra Miller), who, it turns out went on a killing spree at his high school. Dealing with her grief, she tries to contact her estranged husband (John C. Reilly). Based on Lionel Shriver’s book.
Tilda Swinton seems to be a strong contender for the Best Actress Award at Cannes. Depending on the critical reception of We Need to Talk About Kevin in the United States, she may have a chance at critics’ awards later in the year, and, if so, at an Oscar nomination. That all depends, of course, on when the film will be released in the US.
Voguish novels all too rarely translate into worthwhile movies. The urge to stay faithful to the beloved text often hampers creativity. Enthusiastic hosannas should, thus, be put the way of Lynne Ramsay, Scottish director of austere gems such as Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, for making such an imaginative, misanthropic, gut-wrenching film out of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. The first film to screen in the official Cannes competition, this unsettling puzzle-picture sets the festival rolling with a roar of anguish. (Donald Clarke, The Irish Times.)
We Need To Talk About Kevin is one of the best examples of a film marrying provocative subject matter with an exquisitely refined and ultimately very simple aesthetic approach to astounding effect. It isn’t just that Ramsay and her production team have paid due attention to the delicate needs of the story, it is in the stylistic approach to building atmosphere and crucially enticing audience reaction that they must gain the most plaudits. (We Need to Talk About Kevin. Simon Gallagher at Film School Rejects.)
In many ways, in fact, the film is almost as non-verbal as the newly restored version of Georges Méliès’ 1902 A Trip to the Moon, shown here at Cannes earlier this week. Kevin is about one character yet takes place entirely in the mind and world of another. Seldom has a son and a mother been more unknown to each other than in this drama, which is as perplexing as it is intriguing. (Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter.)
Photo: Cannes Film Festival