We Need To Talk About Kevin – Review

Since Columbine, Hollywood has avoided stories that have to do with school shootings.  Discussing the issues surrounding these events seems to have become taboo.  Even this year’s acclaimed documentary, Bully, couldn’t escape controversy as the MPAA slapped it with an R-rating, much to the dismay of parents, teachers and psychologists who argued it was a film that NEEDED to be seen by kids.  We Need To Talk About Kevin is an unflinching film that seeks to get to the root of one possible factor behind deadly outbursts from teens:  broken bonds of motherhood.

To say that Tilda Swinton gives a masterful performance would be an understatement.  She embodies grief, regret, and sadness in nearly every expression, word, and body movement you see on screen.  How this performance was overlooked by the Academy Awards this year is remarkable.  Playing her character in non-linear scenes that take place both before and after the killings, she must merge back and forth from a struggling, emotionally detached mother, to a societal pariah after other parents in the neighborhood blame her for everything her son has done.

Ezra Miller, who plays the teenage title character, is also a revelation.  The first time I saw this kid in a film, Another Happy Day, there were hints that he had some serious acting chops.  But this role could define him in the same way Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn in Basketball Diaries became his coming out party as a serious actor.  In an interview on the Blu Ray special features, director Lynne Ramsey says that the moment she saw Miller in auditions, she knew he WAS Kevin.

While the subject matter is pretty heavy, this movies is really worth a watch.  It’s the kind of film that inspires discussions long after it finishes.  It’s easily one of my top 10 favorites of the year.  Highly recommended.

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Posted on June 28, 2012, in Full Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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