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We Need To Talk About Kevin

Directed by Lynne Ramsay

UK & USA, 2010

Cornerhouse, 22 October 2011

We Need To Talk About Kevin

There are two aspects to the film, one works well and one doesn’t quite convince.

The one that works well concerns the life of a person who, though innocent, is linked with a crime.  This might be the wife of a serial rapist or the father of a teenage burglar, someone guilty or blameworthy by association and unjustly persecuted.  Tilda Swinton, playing Kevin’s mother, carries this role off with power and aplomb.

What doesn’t work quite as well is the attempt to explain evil or make sense of nihilism.  Ultimately, Kevin comes across as just another version, a middle American version if you like, of Damien in The Omen or Rhoda in The Bad Seed.  He’s overcooked, he doesn’t convince as a character, even his hair is an unremitting black.

But see the film for the performance of Tilda Swinton as a woman struggling to get her life back on track.

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