We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Watched this movie a couple of days ago, not couple, a bit more than three I guess and the reason this fact is relevant in this post, is because I still think about it. Seriously, this movie has embedded itself into my brain and I constantly remind myself that every other person could be like Kevin – which, trust me when I say this, is not the best person to cross paths with. Though, I guess it would be best to be on his good side but I am not sure at all that he has a so called bright side to him and being friends to him is probably something only an imaginary person or a ghost can manage (cause he can’t be killed). Was Kevin’s creepy essence the best thing in the movie, for me personally it was a tide between him and his mom because no matter what, I think she was a bit weird as well: an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller give back to back great performances with their amazing bad chemistry. Meaning that, they played their hate for each other with a manner that it made it much more realistic than it could have been with a less disturbing actors. Being disturbing for an actor is like a gift that is handed to them when they are born, Swinton even looks disturbing! I mean nothing bad with that but the woman looks like an alien from a different planet and I’m glad that she does. She kind of rips the element of sexy from the characters and lets them evolve as they are supposed to be, in Hollywood it is rare to see a female role being not sexy because lets face it, sex sells. Swinton’s husband is portrayed by John C. Reilly and together they make a pretty believable couple. They don’t seem extremely happy and content with their lives but they make it work and I guess it makes sense considering they have a son that is scary as ****. Miller, unlike any other creepy child in every other horror movie, is possessed with traits that could be hidden in anybody. He has bad thoughts, he annoys people from an early age but especially his mom, keeping the dad, who clearly is less aware of his son’s dark side, in the shadows. Swinton and Miller share many moments of hate but the scenario is shaken up when they share a loving moment – the question is why? Still contemplating on that but I mostly think of it as one of many Kevin’s weird aspects.

Lynne Ramsay directs her own script with those elements of an indie film I am well aware. Gorgeous scenery, small details that tell a big story and also mixing up the stories narrative. From the beginning to end we get bits and pieces from the beginning, middle and end. It takes time to get used to this back and forth jumps but it helps to tell the story better. Mostly because the actual beginning is the end of it all, and it would be literally boring to see it in the end. That kind of montage also demands attention, you are forced to watch the movie and not multi-task like I am used to do with the so called typical Hollywoodies. Her directorial approach reminds me of her fellow British director Andrea Arnold. Although I haven’t seen her Ratcatcher (1999) and Morvern Callar (2002), I think they both write and direct with the same esthetics and now as Ramsay had great success with We Need to Talk About Kevin like Arnold had with Fish Tank (were Fassbender caught my eye) she’s moving up. A bit ironic that both of these (Kevin and Fish Tank) are focusing on adolescents with problems (one more than the other) and they tanked at the box office by not making back the budget. But that’s beyond the point I was trying to make which was that these British women are really talented in their craft.

I went a bit essay on this post so I’ll give you a present (if you reached the end of it by reading and without reading as well because I can’t really hide it from you guys) of introducing my new rating system. Again 5 “star” rating but in a different kind of way because giving stars is so difficult sometimes, I went with the short verbal explanations now. Probably have to improve them over time because for me, rating is like mission impossible but at least I am putting in the effort. So don’t take the “stars” too seriously and try to focus more on the words which in my mind, say everything that needs to be said.

Images from Rotten Tomatoes.
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2 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)”

  1. Interesting post. Do you think if you watch the film again you’d like it better? And I loved this part, which is why I appreciate Tilda Swinton so much: “I mean…the woman looks like an alien from a different planet and I’m glad that she does. She kind of rips the element of sexy from the characters and lets them evolve as they are supposed to be.”

    1. I think I will cause it totally feels like a movie that has those small nuances that you will notice on the second or the third view. Plus, probably have more contextual meanings or something.

      That sentence is probably the best way to subscribe her in my mind.

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