Film Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin Directed by Lynne Ramsay adapted from the novel by Lionel Shriver.

I had extremely high expectations for this film. Lionel Shriver is one of my favourite authors and her novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin is up there with my top three books. I didn’t see it at the ‘proper’ cinema because I figured if I waited until it came to my local arts centre in Stockton, (The Arc,) the audience wouldn’t be so massive and I could have something of a more private experience. (Last time I went, there was me and three others.) This was not the case, the tiny little cinema was packed to the rafters, mostly with well spoken elders. I thought this would ruin the viewing, but I am delighted to say that it didn’t have any impact whatsoever.


Tilda Swinton as Eva, Kevin’s mother was engaging from the word go. (I honestly don’t think anyone could have portrayed Eva as well as Swinton did.) She played the role with such effortlessness, despite the character being a woman hounded by the world around her, as well as the thoughts in her own head about events leading to Kevin’s home/high school massacre. Watching Kevin grow from a small, screaming baby into an intolerable, nasty teenager made for uncomfortable viewing. Watching Eva struggle through life made my heart ache for her, especially when Kevin would act all lovely and smiley and kind for his oblivious Dad Franklin. When Eva has a little girl, Celia, Kevin takes to calling her a retard and creating horrible situations for his little sister. I must have been grimacing for most of the film. The toddler that played young Kevin was utterly adorable, but absolutely convincing in his role.

In all honesty, all the ‘Kevins’ were impeccable. A stunning, unmissable film.