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Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 8, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars



Kevin (Ezra Miller) may not have his father's eyes, but Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel rivals Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, and this year's Twilight installment as a negative advertisement for childbearing. A free-spirited travel writer, Eva (Tilda Swinton) opts to have a kid, but from infancy on he's more than a handful. The crying, the toilet training, and the boy's wrath at his younger sister make you think he's not right. But then, neither are the parents. Dad (John C. Reilly) is hands-off, upbeat, and deluded. And Eva doesn't have the nerve to tell Dad that maybe it's not a good idea, say, to get the kid a powerful hunting bow. With most actresses, such behavior would seem just dumb. But no one does layered suffering like Swinton — you feel her pain and much more besides. And Ramsay, sometimes to excess, underlines the inner hell with visual motifs. Let's just say that by the end Eva won't be the only one seeing red.

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