Top 365 Films – #346 – We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

Top 365 Films - We Need To Talk About KevinDIRECTED BY: Lynne Ramsay

STARRING: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rock Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich and Siobhan Fallon


EARNED (Worldwide): $6m

AWARDS: None (1 Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress and 2 BAFTA nominations for Best Director and Best Actress)



Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.


We Need To Talk About Kevin begins with us following Eva Khatchadourian, once a travel-writer, and how she is adjusting to life after the ‘incident’ which involved her son Kevin. Due to this incident, Eva lives a solitary life, turned into a sacred woman that tries to avoid people who know about her situation as some openly shun her, whilst others seek violent actions toward her. Through the course of the film we get flashbacks of Kevin and Eva interacting through various stages of their lives before ultimately finding out what Kevin really did.


Well this is just a dark viewing experience. The film places the story out of order, in scenes in the present following Eva coping with life after the incident, to flashbacks of her relationship with Kevin. Ramsay does a great job of making very scene seem like valuable importance, while the incident may be guessed very early on, he focuses on the origins of Eva and Kevin’s relationship and creates questions such as who is fully to blame for the resulting incident, is it that Eva failed to form a bond early on that turned Kevin into a monster or that Kevin was simply a bad seed; an evil child that no one could have cured? Due to Eva not knowing how to deal with Kevin from the early stages of his life, he gradually see him growing up with the gift of knowing exactly how to wound her, reject her, loving with his father Franklin, as by a deliberate design to hurt Eva. The cast is as terrific as the directing, especially with Tilda Swinton desperately trying to cope as a failing mother with a child that has almost become ‘demonic’ in behaviour, Ezra Miller is terrific playing the teenage Kevin with such coldness and a thousand yard stare that will make your skin care and John C Reilly is great as husband/father Franklin, blissfully unaware of what is brewing underneath the surface or just demented in believing that they are living normal, acceptable lives. Worth noting the performance from the younger Kevin (about 6 years old) played by Jasper Newell, which creeped me out more than Ezra Miller. If you were to reboot The Omen franchise again, there’s your Damien.


FAVOURITE SCENE: The revelation of what Kevin really did. Well shot and edited together and also it still has a surprising element to it.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Just because you’re used to something doesn’t mean you like it. You’re used to me.’ – Kevin

DID YOU KNOW?: The project took between three and four years to get made.

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