We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

44.

★★★★

Directed by: Lynne Ramsay
Written by: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear, Lionel Shriver (novel)
Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller

Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevinexplores the aftermath of a high school shooting – only this time, we get to see things from the perspective of a victim who is blamed, and sometimes, overlooked.

Eva (Swinton) is Kevin’s mother. After murdering several of his fellow classmates, Kevin’s arrest has left Eva in a state of numb contemplation. Tracing her relationship with her son, all the way back to his birth and early childhood, Eva is convinced that his antisocial behavior and hostility towards her were around all along.

Best buds.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, however, is not a black and white, clear-cut portrayal of good and evil. There’s no way to simply point the finger at any one character in the film and place all the blame. With subtlety and a powerful understanding of how film aesthetics can mimic the movements of Eva’s memories, thoughts and opinions, We Need to Talk About Kevin allows its audience to think critically about how true or biased such images of the past can be.

Deeply perceptive, emotionally grinding and beautifully depicted, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a thought-provoking tragedy that visually examines a mother’s efforts to understand, forgive and love her son.

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