No-Personality’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #6 in my 2019 Hoop-tober, Part VI, with festively longer novelty title.
It's been a decade. Hasn't it? Since this and several other films were made, and everything which could have been said about it has been said.
So, there's very little I can actually say to break ground.
But I do have a theory.
Kevin is a fucking misogynist. I'm not sure the movie is ready to have a talk about it (haha) because I don't see any other reviews talking about (haha) John C. Reilly's role in this and how incredible an enabler he is. How Kevin literally performs for him. How he himself insists they leave the city and get a backyard for Kevin to play in, while all Kevin does is stand static either shooting arrows or slapping a tethered ball on a stick.
With that in mind, this movie is kind of a torture fest for Swinton. The music isn't sympathetic in the slightest to her silent plight; anyone else noticed that? And, of course, her speech on overweight people and the theory of metabolism. Which only makes things worse. But I'll bet is used to set up the scene where she's a little less than totally devastated to find her home... the way she finds it on the night of the high school tragedy, and lies down in bed the way she does. How many women really want to play the role of the I Tried to Tell You but You Didn't Listen person? Is everyone who gives her shit around her afterward plugging into that one tiny scene where we see Swinton is terrible and Kevin calls her out on it? If it's her fault, she had a lot of help. And we the audience learn nothing from this. So... why are a woman filmmaker and a woman as sensitive as Swinton making a film that intends to blur the lines so much? While yet making it crystal clear that John C. Reilly was never going to listen to Swinton if she tried to speak out against a son constantly manipulating both of them.
Either way, if this had been a different movie- she would have gone to doctors, sought out confidants to tell them her son was acting like a monster. Why is she so isolated here?
By the way, Ed Gonzalez said Swinton and family's very large estate was asking for trouble. I just want to say: did you get a look at the houses in Orphan, The Orphanage, Grace, Insidious, and The Unborn (2009) to name a few?