We Need to Talk About Kevin

Film Review by Philip Concannon | 17 Oct 2011
Film title: We Need to Talk About Kevin
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Release date: 21 Oct
Certificate: 15

Lynne Ramsay's return to cinema is an adaptation of – and an improvement upon – Lionel Shriver's best-selling novel; within the film's opening moments we're reminded why her long absence from behind the camera has been so keenly felt. Opening with the surprising image of Eva (Swinton) covered in tomatoes as she enjoys a European holiday, Ramsay continues to produce such arresting visuals throughout. To watch We Need to Talk About Kevin is to watch a director in full command of her material. Through the exceptional cinematography and sound design, a sense of constant unease is created as Eva battles with her malevolent son (a chilling Miller) while her ineffectual husband (Reilly) remains oblivious to the civil war going on in front of him. Swinton is magnificent, expressing Eva's conflicting emotions as she comes to terms with the hatred she feels for her own son, but this is Ramsay's show, and while her symbolic imagery may occasionally feel heavy-handed, the film as a whole is a remarkable cinematic experience. [Philip Concannon]

We Need to Talk About Kevin in released 21 Oct by Artificial Eye