Cannes 2011: We Need To Talk About Kevin first reaction
Almost 10 years after her last film Morvern Callar, Brit-director Lynn Ramsay has made a gut-punching comeback with We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Tilda Swinton is at her brittle best as Eva, a mother grappling with guilt over the tragic actions of her 15-year-old problem child Kevin (Ezra Miller).
Skipping back and forth in time, the jigsaw narrative pieces together the Oedipally complex relationship between mother and son.
Though the film doesn’t filter the book’s first-person, letter-writing device into a voice-over, it’s still intensely locked into Eva’s POV.
Similar to Ramsey’s earlier work (including 1999 debut Ratcatcher), this is a highly expressionistic piece that makes striking use of the colour red, as well as Jonny Greenwood’s score, which evokes the dread-soaked droning of his There Will Be Blood soundtrack.
That’s not the only connection between the two films - this too is a horror film at heart, with Ezra an unforgettable monster (though the junior thesps playing the younger Kevin match his screen-searing stare).
If at times Ramsay’s directorial control is so tight the film risks becoming mannered, the tension is perpetually poised on a knife’s edge.