We Need to Talk about Kevin

We Need to Talk about Kevin is a 2012 independent film starring John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton. They portray a couple dealing with a problematic child, the titular Kevin. Tilda Swinton, in an award-nominated performance, is seen dealing with the aftermath of a mass murder committed by her own son. In addition to coping with the emotional toil, she also deals with being shunned by her community and has difficulty finding and keeping employment.

In between all of the present-day footage, we are shown various glimpses of Kevin's childhood throughout the years and the stresses that he has caused for his parents. It starts with his constant crying as a baby, followed by behavioral issues and poor attitude even as a toddler. Without much of a reason why, it seems that Kevin is simply a "bad seed." He seems to relish the misfortune and grief that he causes his mother. As Kevin enters adolescence, he seems to just get more creative with how he makes his family's lives miserable.

The performances offered in this movie are very convincing. John C. Reilly, in a break from his usual comedic roles, plays a hapless father who is unsure of how to deal with his son, as well as the rift it causes between him and his wife. Tilda Swinton, in a very human performance, is pushed to the edge by her son. While on the verge of snapping, she manages to portray a very maternal instinct that will make her love her son no matter what atrocities he has committed. Ezra Miller, playing present-day Kevin, convinces the audience of his role as an emotionally disturbed adolescent.

Ultimately this is a horror movie, and one that may strike close to home for many parents. It shows a family trying to live with a sociopath child, and trying unsuccessfully to put him on the least destructive path. It is a relevant look behind mass killing committed by high school students, and the destructive family life behind them.

| 2012 | 1 hr 50 min | 7.5/10
Lynne Ramsay
We Need to Talk about Kevin

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