We Need to Talk About Kevin

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 1.5

A grieving mother (Tilda Swinton) recollects events in her life involving her mean-spirited son (Ezra Miller) that go from his defiant early years (refusal to be toilet trained) to his teen years and eventually his imprisonment for executing his classmates with a bow and arrow. Ramsay's fractured style undermines her movie in a way - the pieces don't exactly 'come together' for emotional resonance, and the close-ups on things like clipped fingernails or various objects seem all too self-consciously patched in. I'm not sure where the movie's defenders find any level of "ambiguity" in this: psychopath Kevin was clearly born difficult and defiant and disturbed (making the argument of nature over nurture), and despite being a little icy as a person, Swinton's character, to me at least, does try to be a decent (if demanding) mother. I know a lot of relatively well-adjusted people who have shrill, domineering Moms, and they didn't become mass-murderers ... they became lawyers and accountants.