We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) – Fear and Loathing in Thebes

Back in 2003, Lionel Shriver published the Orange award-winning novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. Taking the form of a series of letters, the book chronicles a mother’s attempt to come to terms with the extent of her responsibility in the creation of a monster. The novel’s epistolary structure means that adapting it for the cinema was always going to horrify the book’s ever-growing legion of fans but a ripple of excitement passed through cinephilia when the news began to spread that a film had been produced and that it marked the long-overdue return of Scotland’s Lynne Ramsay, a director whose earlier films Morvern Callar (2002) and Ratcatcher (1998) demonstrated a real gift for tackling darker themes with a decidedly poetic sensibility. We Need to Talk About Kevin is not only a successful adaptation of a great novel, it also heralds the return of a director who has been absent from our screens for far too long.  We Need to Talk About Kevin is nothing short of breath taking.


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