Lynne Ramsey's We Need to Talk about Kevin

The best movie I saw at AFI Fest this year was Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011), which incidentally happened to be the last screening I attended. With dialog such as "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah" and great performances from Tilda Swinton and company, tough issues were dealt with splendidly. The movie even had some great, happy moments, despite the fact that a lot of people wouldn't want to see a movie about a massacre at a school through the eyes of the killer's mother.

Though not specified, the setting was supposed to be Colorado. Since the Scottish director wanted to make this film, she almost had to set it in America. If violent outbursts in schools occur in Europe, they are extremely rare. Europeans have more limited access to guns. However, Kevin's weapon of choice isn't a gun.

His parents aren't indifferent. His upbringing could be called privileged. Despite the family friction, his mother always makes an effort to be there for him. But even though there are tell-tale signs, his parents never threaten him with punishment or military school or things that might steer him away from what he is about to do.

The main problem is that his father is completely oblivious to his son's problems; Kevin always smiles around him and acts like a perfect son. The father's trust is his undoing, as Kevin doesn't care for anyone but himself. A great character study, with no cliches. Definitely recommended. 8.5/10


Matt said…
I still can't bring myself to watch this yet. But your review inches me closer to considering it. Not because it might be gruesome but something about it seems too obvious to me. Not that I don't like obvious movies...but still.

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