100 movies of 2012

100 movies: We Need to Talk About Kevin

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

We Need to Talk About Kevin We Need to Talk About Kevin (07/07/12)

Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

If there’s ever a film that could do more for teen pregnancy, then this is the one. I defy anyone not to sit through this film and then have second thoughts about having kids. It just gets under your skin!

This film is incredibly tense. From the beginning, every scene is tinged with a ridiculous amount of tension. I don’t think I’ve been this tense while watching a film since I saw Black Swan. From the start you’re made very aware that Kevin is not your average kid and in the future Kevin does something amazingly wrong and bad and just plain evil. Though all you can do is watch, scene by scene, as the past unfolds with the present rolling on, watching through the mother’s eyes.

Speaking of which, Tilda Swinton is fantastic as Eva. From the beginning, seeing her struggle with the infant Kevin, right through to his adulthood. I could feel her pain and frustration. Though, being a mother, she just takes it. Everything that Kevin throws at her.

Kevin himself… just despicable. Ezra Miller freaked me out completely. As Kevin, he just had a complete disregard for anything or anyone around him. Every moment I was wondering what his real motives were. Chilling.

I loved the colour scheme of the film. The red splashed across almost every scene. Reminding us, that all is never going to be right.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

56 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
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  • Reply Nostra July 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Stunning film. Unfortunately a colleague spoiled what would happen in the end for me, which took away a bit of the tense feeling, but it’s a very good movie and Swinton shows what a great actress she is.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Such a shame! While I knew something heinous was going to happen at the end, not knowing exactly what definitely upped the tension.

  • Reply Pete July 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Probably my favourite film of 2011. Only thing I’d add to your review is another 1 to the 4/5.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

      I was wondering whether I should give it 5. I want to give it 4.5, because it’s definitely better than just 4. But … no half points! ARGHH!

  • Reply Mui Tsun July 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Have not see this but will now have to after seeing your review and what the others have to say. Thank you.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Do. It’s a tricky film to watch. I think being a mother, you might find some of it a bit more uncomfortable to watch. I know a lot of parents out there who’ve seen this film and thought it was great, but felt totally uncomfortable throughout it.

      Don’t let that put you off. Brilliant film.

  • Reply Scott Lawlor July 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

    A truly amazing film, probably one of my fave from last year. Stunning performances, direction and theme. And my god the RED!!


    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Ahh yes, lots of RED. Right from the beginning. You just knew.

  • Reply Dave July 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Happy to see that I’m not the only one who agrees this is possibly the best film of 2011. I’m a parent and it’s horrifying to watch, which makes it all the more raw and visceral.

    Glad you dug it, and dammit, throw in the half-star! Your blog, your rules! :-)

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      But but but no! I gotta be strict with all those half stars. As soon as I let in half stars, I’ll be letting in quarters. And then if I try and compare it to other films, I’ll be all confused because it’ll throw the whole scale outtawack! What are you trying to do to me here, Dave!!


      I am somewhat glad I’m watching this as a single person with no kids of my own. If I was a parent, I’d probably start looking at my kids a slightly wary way!

      • Reply Dave July 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        Get a grip on yourself, woman!

        • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

          Now I need a slap.

  • Reply Eric July 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    “Tense” is definitely an accurate term to describe this viewing experience. Just caught it recently, and wow, what a film. I could not believe how purely evil Kevin was.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Soulless some would say about him. So without remorse. Can’t even imagine it.

  • Reply Aidy July 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Thinking about it, the film would indeed make for an effective promotion against pregnancy! After seeing this movie, it was a little weird to see Miller being so enthusiastic and upbeat in the trailer for ‘Perks for Being a Wallflower.’

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      It’s good he can be a bit versatile. But I think not matter what else I see him in, he’ll always creep me out.

  • Reply ruth July 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Haven’t seen this yet but I read 2 reviews of this in a week, I’m more curious about it now.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      It’s a great film. Just… make sure you’ve got something fun to watch after.

  • Reply Dan O. July 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Now this is a real miserable and psychological trip from hell that really high-lighted how great of an actress Tilda Swinton can be. She’s so strong here and it was a total damn surprise that she didn’t even get a nomination for an Oscar. The whole “red” symbolism was a little too obvious, but it didn’t bother me too much because this film had me on the edge of my seat at all times. Good review Jaina.

    • Reply Jaina July 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      This film’s too dark for the Academy. There’s no silver lining in it. Frigging Oscars.

  • Reply Jen July 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    This is my kind of movie!!! Kinda sounds like “The Good Son”. Have you seen that movie? It’s not exact, but it’s similar in the fact that it makes you not want to have a child whatsoever. LOL

    Great review. If I see it, I’m so going to watch it. Cheers!

    • Reply gEORGE July 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Psychotic Ritchie Rich!

    • Reply Jaina July 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

      I’ve not seen The Good Son, what’s it like?

      Definitely look it up!

      • Reply Dan August 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

        The Good Son isn’t up to the standards of Kevin. It is more cliched thriller territory than this character piece.

  • Reply sati July 20, 2012 at 1:07 am

    So glad you liked the movie. For me it was just incredible – felt a bit like something Lynch could have made if he focused more on character development and not surrealism. Swinton was fantastic, though I liked her more in Julia and Michael Clayton.

    • Reply Jaina July 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Not seen Julia, but Michael Clayton is a fantastic film. Loved her in Burn After Reading too.

  • Reply sati July 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    She was hilarious in BAR. Julia is pretty good film but her performance is seriously one of the best ones I’ve seen.

  • Reply niels July 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I knew what was going to happen at the end of the film from watching an interview of Charlie Rose to Tilda Swinton but I generally wouldn’t think the ending is THAT surprising considering the sad fact that the evil act perpetrated by Kevin has become familiar in headlines at least once a year it seems.
    I have prepared a review of “We Need To Talk About Kevin” too, and will be posting it in the coming days. We differ a little on the merits of the style of delivery, but overall, I thought it was very chilling and well-made. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller steal the show.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    • Reply Jaina July 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Agreed on the ending. Not a surprise. But the slow reveal was great to watch.

  • Reply Dan August 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Really captivating film. I agree with all your points Jaina – the performances, the mother’s struggle. I really liked the idea that Tilda Swinton allows herself to be punished for her son’s act…almost encourages it…it was really powerful.

    • Reply Jaina August 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Very powerful. I guess it’s as a mother you feel an obligation to your children. And she must have had some guilt, thinking that her treatment of Kevin as a child, was partly responsible. Even though, as the viewer, you know that wasn’t the case.

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