BFI Day 6 – We Need to Talk About Kevin – Women Be Warned this will put you off motherhood!

19 Oct

Not bonding with your child is one thing. Giving birth to Damien from the Omen is quite another! My favourite film of the festival so

far this expertly put together and acted film makes me proud that the director, crew, financing and lead actress are all British. I’m hearing award bells ringing left right and centre and and hoping its wipes the floor with the competition.

In a nutshell the story is of a mother – once free spirited, well travelled and with the world at her feet, finds later in life that she is pregnant. Once the child is born, despite best attempts, she cannot bond with it and through the years sinks lower and lower into depression over the fact that her child, Kevin, is one person to her and another to her husband. This isn’t as you’d expect from the trailer a film which focus’s solely on a Columbine esq shooting, it goes much deeper into the psyche of a child (hugely intelligent) and his unexplained resentment/torture towards his mother. The film is just punch after punch of heavyweight acting from Tilda Swinton (who was so passionate about the project that she spent five years with Lynne Ramsey trying to get this project off the ground) – and she will reap the rewards come Oscar time!

Ezra Miller who is the third actor to step into the shoes of Kevin, shows that he’s destined for big things following his performance. Intense, disturbing and like his character this hugely intelligent portrayal should put him as one of the kookiest members of the A-List pretty damn soon! The two younger Kevins should not go without a mention either, it’s a stroke of genius how Ramsey managed to get a three year old to look quite so damn psychotic by just playing ball!

John C. Reilly again brings a stellar performance as the blindsided husband who cant get to grips with Swinton’s exhaustion, frustration and ability to blame all errors on her child. If anything, in his mind it should be her that needs to be locked up not their son.

All in all this is an artistic film – adapted beautifully from the book which I can only say has inspired the film rather than provided a step by step structure for the finished product. Its not for the faint hearted and builds to a heart stopping climax. Truly a brilliant film with a fantastic director and a well formed cast.

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