Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin [dir. Lynne Ramsay; 2011]

Not having read the Lionel Shriver novel on which this film is based, I went in with foreknowledge about nothing except – as is often the way – the story’s concluding revelation. Still, this didn’t detract from what turned out to be a moving, unsettling, deeply visceral cinematic experience. Tilda Swinton is consistently excellent as the mother of an odd teenage son whose behaviour casts a deep shadow on the life of her whole family. And Lynne Ramsay’s directing unashamedly turns the entire film into an exercise in subjective story telling, a move that’s entirely appropriate for a story in which different points of view and individuals’ perceptions of events have a direct bearing on the development of the plot. Psychologically astute and totally mesmerising.

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