Saturday, September 8, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Something about Tilda Swinton bugs me.  I don't really get how she is revered as an actress, and she just bothers me in general.  It's also a little hard for me to take John C. Reilly seriously after his mostly comedic career.  But I was dying to see this movie since creepy kids scare me like no other. 

We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of those movies you won't be sure if you liked at first.  It jumps all over the place, and although full of striking cinematography, is hard to follow at times.  As much as I don't love Swinton, she is perfect in the role of Eva (mom/wife) who is first a confident, independent and artistic city-dweller, who throughout her son's life, turns into a terrified and withdrawn woman practically hiding in the suburbs.  Reilly is pretty forgettable as husband and father Franklin, but satisfies the needs of the part.  The succession of children and the teenager who play Kevin are gloriously creepy and perfectly cast.

The plot?  Fairly basic, but hard to follow at times.  It sort of starts at the end and then jumps around throughout the life of the couple, their small family, and of course, Eva on her own.  Eva and Franklin fall in love after a night of drunken debauchery, and live a happy life in New York.  Eva is excited to become pregnant with Kevin, but things quickly become difficult.  Kevin is a troubled baby and cries incessantly, only stopping when his father returns home.  As a child, he resists potty training, and any sort of affection from his mother, yet continues to bond with his father.  As a teenager, he seems to have no interests aside from archery, and seems to harbor a deep hatred for his mother.  The movie both begins and ends with him committing a terrible crime, forcing his mother to be shunned by the community and live a depressed and solitary life.

I really wasn't sure about this movie at first, but the more I've thought about it, the more I realize I liked it.  Kevin was so cold and unfeeling that it was hard to imagine if he had some sort of motivation (supernatural or otherwise) or if he was just born with a legit psychotic personality.  The scenes were choppy, but shocking, especially a few towards the end.  I did generally like this movie and feel it is worth a view for drama and horror fans alike.