Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00

You’ll Need to Talk about 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'

entertainment.time.com entertainment.time.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

British director Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin charts the first 16 years of the emotionally damaged title character who lacks the ability to empathize. As Kevin's mother Eva, Tilda Swinton carries the film registering an amazing array of reactions as the film's narrative structure fragments time, a design that eerily fits Kevin's dissociative state.

As the story emerges through numerous flashbacks, Eva must confront son Kevin (Ezra Miller), her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly), and the local residents who victimize her with their anger. Swinton's tour de force performance makes Eva's pain, confusion, and vulnerability palpable and poignant. Unfortunately, the complex nature of Kevin's problems, or strategies for treating them constructively, remain unexplored; that is, ironically, the characters don't ever really talk about Kevin in depth, they react to him. That's what the film grapples with—how does a mother accommodate a baby and then a boy and a teenager when they can't bond at all and he behaves abominably.

Writer/director Lynne Ramsay has a knack for presenting difficult physical and psychological situations nonjudgmentally, as she did in her previous Morvern Callar and Ratcatcher. She invites admiration more than catharsis, refusing to soften tough circumstances or to simplify complex emotions. Working with Rory Stewart Kinnear to adapt Lionel Shriver's novel, Ramsay plunges the viewer into a nightmare intensified by the upbeat music, the powerful art direction (especially the use of red), and Tilda Swinton's courageous, unsettling, perfect performance. She shows that Eva's life as a travel writer and publisher delighted her before baby Kevin arrived.

As husband Franklin, John C. Reilly offers Eva no real support in her impossible nightmare. In fact, the staging and pace of many scenes progress like a bad dream as the events register slowly. For example, Eva, unable to bear Kevin's horrid crying or to silence him, pushes his baby carriage over by a jackhammer worker for a moment of peace.

We Need to Talk About Kevin raises issues and asks questions we adults do need to talk about—but seldom do. At a Landmark cinema.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 8914 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook