[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
We Need to Talk About Kevin
The mother of a teenage sociopath who went on a high-school killing spree recalls her son's deranged behavior during childhood, as she deals with her grief.
Tilda Swinton is the perfect actress in my eyes. You must be a chameleon adapting to whatever role is given to you. It is not just in her slightly androgynous appearance and demeanor but in her natural gift to act, she is perfect.
Like a wounded and terrified animal running on guilt and hindsight, Eva (Swinton) is barely living, flinching at the sound of her own name.
The United States has had its fair share of massacres at schools across the country. There have also been numerous films made, some based on reality, others in fantasy but the one thing they all have in common is the exploitative nature, focusing on the massacre itself. This is where We Need to…
The main reason I put off watching this for so long is its source material. Lionel Shriver's novel is an amazing piece of fiction that gnaws on your soul by asking the toughest questions imaginable without granting its readers the comfort of easy answers. It explores the age old discussion on nature versus nurture. It does so by relating a story about a boy committing an evil deed, presented through a series of letters written by the boy‘s mother. She is constantly asking herself whether it is her fault that her son is the way he is or whether he was born evil. It also shows how something like a high-school shooting affects a community, but moreover the family members…
Excellent film to watch with your wife and 10-day-old son on a sunny, Sunday afternoon.
Lynne Ramsay’s first film in nine years is a tricky one, both in subject matter and presentation. Everybody should be familiar with the story by now but despite the inevitability of what is to come the film still manages to shock. It is a sensationalist tale but to its credit it is not shot in a sensational or exploitative manner. In many ways it is a horror film with all the genre tropes stripped away. Instead what we get is a fragmentary film about a mother struggling with her responsibility to love her son. The film certainly raises difficult questions (is a bond between mother and child unbreakable? Does evil occur through nature or nurture? etc.) and pleasingly it doesn’t…
Review In A Nutshell:
We Need to Talk About Kevin throughout left me extremely frustrated; it has a strong premise and the performances brought by the cast are beyond excellent, but the film's emotional pile up of unsympathetic hate towards its titular subject was simply exhausting.
The film doesn't seem to have any solid purpose towards the relationship between Kevin and his mother, Eva; leaving the audience with scenes that executes its emotions perfectly, but left with a blank canvas when putting it all together. For this film to be entirely effective, it needs to suggest something, and when it does, the filmmakers should pin it down and let it grow with every passing scene.
The film suggests the conflict…
First of all, after seeing Only Lovers Left Alive and now this I am beginning to develop an appreciation for Tilda Swinton's perfect alien beauty and intensity. There was also Lynne Ramsay's Movern Callar, of course, and now I see what a perfect marriage of cinematic style and casting this is: disconnected and grieving, with Swinton looking like a wounded deer in headlights. Scenes flashing back and forward around the time of the central trauma flow seamlessly together, painting in elliptical strokes a picture of a mother's psyche orbiting the black hole of a sociopathic son. It's all beautifully shot and endlessly heartrending, camerawork probing so deeply that images become distorted, nightmarish, almost surreal.
Turns out, though I've been meaning…
very real, very touching, but also very...disturbing?
[originally written on my blog]
Previously addressed at Cannes, and taking a second look changed nothing. Even if we posit that the entire film is an untrustworthy memory play warped by Eva's guilt, Kevin is just too overtly demonic to prevent the film from feeling schematically repetitive, especially when Ramsay abandons her initial flurry of hallucinatory fragmentation and settles into a strictly linear groove (which threatens to become a rut). It's a dazzling dirge, and this time I clung even more desperately to its one mysterious, destabilizing interlude: Kevin's sudden tender affection for Eva when he gets sick. But the faint echo in the film's closing scene, as he awaits transfer to prison proper, just wasn't enough, and I was set adrift once again.
Tilda , as always, nailed it. Love her to see in this kind of film. The kids in this movie are amazing. Story is kind of dark.
Damn, symbolism out the wazoo which was pretty chill.
Lynne Ramsay's movie "We Need To Talk About Kevin" encompasses a style of impressionistic and oneiric editing that famous directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Sergei Eisenstein and D.W. Griffith tried to create in their works as well. A scene where dream-like illusions force the watcher to find symbolism in a seemingly simple shot is depicted around 54 minutes into the movie. We see blurry lights in a dark background slowly clear up to reveal the main character Eva walking towards the camera and experiencing flashbacks. The daydream-like state that the main character is depicted in emphasizes a vibe of chaos and collision of one's mind. Just like Eisenstein tried to create a hectic reality, Ramsay does the same in this sequence.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Another possible montage to examine occurs at around 93 minutes into the film. This montage shows Kevin preparing to commit his final act of violence, as well as jumping forward in time to show Eva racing to the school after hearing about what Kevin had done. This montage uses Eisensteinian methods to juxtapose the preparation Kevin goes through before his massacre with the resulting panic and emotions that his act causes.
son of a bitch!!!!!!!
This movie is continuously jumping in time flashing forward and backwards in time intercutting between the main characters life after and before the school shooting letting you see what it is like to be in her head taking a simple shot of her dipping her head in water and then it switching to her son doing the same action or cutting from her sanding the red paint off of her house to her bouncing her infant son who wont stop crying. This juxtaposition of shots reflects on that of Eisenstein in Battleship when he cuts from the shot after the battleship bombs Odessa to the three shots of lion statues going from a sleeping lion, to a statue of a lion that is awake, and then to a shot of a statue of a lion that has risen showing them before the bomb was fired changing the timeline.
One possible montage to use to analyze the discontinuity in this film occurs at the opening of the movie. This scene shows Eva in some kind of festival (in what I assume is Ecuador). The festival consists of a huge mob of people throwing what I think are cranberries onto each other. This montage contains many shots and sounds that it is clear have deeper meanings, and seem to be extremely influenced by Eisenstein. I believe, although I am admittedly unsure, that this montage serves to highlight Eva's feelings of guilt over her parts in the acts committed by her son.
P.S. I now never want to have kids. Just saying.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…
In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top fifty.