Saturday, September 15, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin [USA, Great Britain, 2011]

Nine Things about We Need to Talk About Kevin

1. This was one of the best films of 2011.
2. Based on a book written in 2003, the film is a quietly devastating tragedy of a mother who realizes that something is mentally and emotionally wrong with her son, who has committed a truly horrific act.

3. While this movie is technically a drama, it could also be considered a horror film. This is the best of the 'bad seed" sub-genre of horror. But while it's about a boy with Terrible Problems, that's not the real horror. This movie is a nihilistic punch to the gut, and is more horrific than any knife-wielding maniac or possessed girl.

4. The movie's scenes do not follow chronological order; by jumping back and forth in time, the movie becomes somewhat of a puzzle, as the audience tries to figure out just what happened.

5. The jumps in the film also show the fractured nature of recovering from a deep trauma. Or maybe they show the fractured nature of a deteriorating mind.

6. The cinematography of the film is some of the most beautiful of the year. This makes a stark contrast to the ugly nature of the story.

7. What makes the movie so heart-wrenching is Tilda Swinton's portrayal of a mother desperately trying to find a reason, an explanation, for what has been happening. Or, if not a reason, at least a reason for hope that her world is not just a black hole of cruel pointlessness

8. Ezra Miller was 17 when he made this film. I don't know what allowed him to reach the parts of himself necessary for this movie, but he was masterful in his role.

9. It should not be watched by women who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant.