Well – here’s another movie I don’t think I can possibly do any justice to. The motto here at THE IPC HQ is to not take anything too seriously (especially myself) but I really don’t think I want to make some good clean fun at the expense of this – I don’t know if it’s a masterpiece – um, wonderfully serious, difficult to watch, heartbreakingly sad, perfectly put together story of a mother of an unwell kid. That’s not even a good synopsis, Isaacs, you suck. Here’s a good quick take from IMDB: “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.” That’s a lot better than what I wrote…
Let me first say that I was pre-disposed to liking this film because of its name and the trailer I saw a looooooong time ago. Number two going for it is the fact that it stars Tilda Swinton who has been one of my favorites since I first saw her take on being a boy in Orlando years ago. I can’t say that I’ve seen everything she’s ever done but what I have seen her in I have totally been in like with her (The Beach, Constantine, Michael Clayton, etc). Third – I used to really dig John C Reilly before he tried to beome the next Will Ferrell – think Magnolia and Gangs of New York and (hey I know… but I liked it….) The Aviator – and this looked like some “classic” soft demeanored, big hearted, lovable guy Reilly. And lastly, Tilda Swinton – what??
This story is mostly told in some form of flashback – with the “current” story being that of a meek, scared, withdrawn, drug and alcohol addled Swinton trying to make it a new job and hiding from the citizens of the city where she resides. All of the flashback history of how she got to this wretched point is difficult to watch – and I don’t mean it’s difficult because we are subjected to a bunch of guts falling on the screen or spiders or crickets in eyeballs or something like that – it’s difficult to imagine a woman having to endure what her kid (that she doesn’t even seem to want, but must love as his mother) puts her through. It’s psychopathic activity coming from her kid as an infant, a toddler, a preteen and, ultimately, a high schooler with an agenda. All of this badness he keeps hidden from his dad (Reilly) and it all seems that he does what he does to torture his mom. I know there’s a book out there that this is based on that I have never read but I get the feeling that the implication here is that this behavior is genetically engrained since it seems she never wanted the kid to begin with so he was “born bad” and that seems to be a big topic out on the IMDB boards (yawn).
The story, like I tried to write, is told real time but then again in flashbacks that only give us slight glimpses into “the event” and when we finally get to “the event” – it’s heart breaking yet completely awesome in it’s execution and when you finally know what’s driven this woman to be so hated and so sad and so miserable, the end product makes you – well me – say bravo to you filmmakers – well done. And whoever cast the kids who play Kevin at various stages of life should each be given their own awards for picking these actors – they were wonderful in their hideously psychopathic ways. I know The Good and Selective Readers who look at this place are all very diverse, so this might not be for a lot of You in it’s seriousness, but man, this was the real deal to me. Loved it, but it sure is sad.