We Need to Talk About Kevin ★★★½


[originally written on my blog]

Previously addressed at Cannes, and taking a second look changed nothing. Even if we posit that the entire film is an untrustworthy memory play warped by Eva's guilt, Kevin is just too overtly demonic to prevent the film from feeling schematically repetitive, especially when Ramsay abandons her initial flurry of hallucinatory fragmentation and settles into a strictly linear groove (which threatens to become a rut). It's a dazzling dirge, and this time I clung even more desperately to its one mysterious, destabilizing interlude: Kevin's sudden tender affection for Eva when he gets sick. But the faint echo in the film's closing scene, as he awaits transfer to prison proper, just wasn't enough, and I was set adrift once again.