We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin is a disturbing and uncomfortable film; it focuses on the closed-down life of Eva Katchadourian (Tilda Swinton), a woman who’s living in a horrified, shell-shocked limbo (“coming to terms” doesn’t even begin to come close) in the aftermath of a Columbine-esque school massacre that’s been perpetrated by her son. Kevin Katchadourian, the title character, has – as we learn in flashback – always been a horrible child, manipulative, precocious, cruel and hurtful. His Dad is in denial about it, his Mom is increasingly perplexed, frustrated and horrified – particularly since Kevin becomes more vicious, calculating and dangerous as time goes on. I hate the word “Evil”, it has such ridiculous religious connotations. But Kevin in evil, and Eva blames herself.

“Kevin” filmed in Connecticut – in Norwalk (I visited Elyse there last summer) and Stanford, which was interesting. But mostly I wondered whether Tilda Swinton is just the best actress on the planet. If you saw her brittle, callow performance as the lawyer in Michael Clayton, she ups it here, and knocks it into orbit. Impressive.