Friday May 13th 2011
It’s been three years since Antonio Campos’ awesome directorial debut Afterschool, and since then its even-more-awesome star Ezra Miller has successfully maintained his ability to be awesome. If anything, he’s got more awesome. Awesome.
In We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay’s long-awaited follow-up to 2002’s Morvern Callar, Miller plays the titular teen (lol, titular) whose destructive behaviour leaves his mother (Tilda Swinton from art) in a right old tizz. Both are perfectly cast, instantly evoking a mother-son relationship despite the evident hatred emanating from both sides. Miller is particularly adept at conveying everything from disgust to desire in a single facial expression, as is his younger self Jaspar Newell, whose previous credits don’t extend much beyond playing ‘Baby Winky’ in Dora The Explorer, but here delivers one of the best child performances I’ve ever seen.
Occasionally Ramsay’s sensory-overload directing style gets a bit much, and her symbolism can be a little bit sledgehammer-y: one recurring scene has Tilda Swinton literally scrubbing red paint off of her house (DO YOU GET IT? THE RED PAINT IS LIKE BLOOD! THE BLOOD OF HER SON’S ACTIONS!! SHE’S SCRUBBING AWAY THE PAIN!!!!).
Still, these are minor complaints in a film that, for the most part, is very hard to fault. Emotionally complex, expertly paced and filled to bursting with Ezra Miller’s troublingly-sexy psychopathic face, We Need To Talk About Kevin is almost as good as the hats on display at its press conference:
Check out those hats.
Oh, and I guess I might as well keep up the Palme-d’Or-o-meter after I spent so much time putting it together in Photoshop: