February 10, 2012
By Nick Galasso
Release Date: December 9, 2011
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: Tilda Swinton; John C. Reilly; Ezra Miller; Jasper Newell; Ashley Gerasimovich
Production: BBC Films, UK Film Council, Footprint Investment Fund
Runtime: 112 minutes
One of the year’s darkest films, Kevin follows a mother (Tilda Swinton) who tries to deal with the aftermath of a school shooting caused by her son (Ezra Miller as a teenager; Jasper Newell as a child). Throughout the film, we not only see the aftermath of the shooting, but also a look into some of the major moments in Kevin’s life before the shooting occurs. There’s an interesting narrative structure to the film, as it constantly jumps around amongst quite a few different time periods. This could have easily caused mass confusion, although a solid screenplay as well as some fantastic editing gave us just the opposite, with objects or people from one time period smoothly triggering a transition to another time period, allowing for a very engaging story. The performances are also top-notch. I’m not really the biggest Tilda Swinton fan, but she shines here, as she effectively communicates to us her character’s conflict in emotion. She tries to be strong, but you can read the pain on her face at the same time, and there’s a constant internal battle going on as we see her try to deal with the film’s unfolding events. The two actors who played Kevin – Ezra Miller and Jasper Newell – were also big standouts. They both play the cold, distant, serial-killer role perfectly, allowing us to grow to hate Kevin, yet still be fascinated by each of his actions, giving us one of this year’s more interesting characters.