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Two nights ago, I decided I never want to have kids. Why? Because I caught the first screening of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN — a look at the relationship between a mother and her troubled teenage son. (J/K about the “never wanting kids” part………sorta.) It was also awarded BEST FILM 2011 by EuroCinema Hawaii at last night’s awards gala.

The Lynne Ramsay-driven vehicle paints a pretty bleak portrait of a mother sorting out her memories following an act of violence that involes her only son and it’s without a doubt the most demanding film I’ve seen at the fest so far. It raises a lot of questions about nature vs. nuture, parenting, and every shot is rife with symbolism, which is why it’s perfect for HIFF and our discerning audience members.

Tilda Swinton is really, really good, proving again that there’s nothing the woman can’t do (has she cured cancer yet?), but the real surprise is newcomer Ezra Miller who holds his own against her effortlessly, expanding on the work he did in his first film AFTERSCHOOL, which had similar themes.

Like anyone who fell in love with the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower as a teenager ten+ years ago (guilty!), you were probably feeling suspicious when you heard there was a film adaptation in the works. But after finding out this kid Ezra’s in it, and seeing his acting chops in KEVIN, my hope has been restored.

The director Ramsay has shot some delicately charged scenes that give the actors enough room to act, considering how loaded the topic is. There are two scenes in particular that just sum up everything I’m trying to get across unsucessfully in this post, so I’ll just let you sift through the film to try and find them.

In a perfect world, all three will be nominated come awards season. Whether you love or hate the film (two people walked out of my screening), it was an admirable effort overall.

It screens one last time tonight at 930p. Bring someone so you both can talk about it. You’ll need to.

There is 1 comment .

Heisenberg —

I saw the trailer for this and, yeah, dark-ish. But, ah, man, no let one film decide. I mean, even stuff w/Columbine and Cho at VTech, you cannot blame the parents. Parents (well, the ones who put their hearts into raising anyways) they do their best and some kind of method of free will takes over the child. This why important to have a proper upbringing is what films like “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, “Kids”, “Bully”, “Elephant,” etc. ultimately say (you make ’em, keep an eye on ’em, pay attention to ’em, even if they hate you for it in their teens ’cause they’ll love you for it later ons).

Hoooooey, some o’these other films, man; “Warped Forest” was nutty. Visually captivating (however weird or gross :)). Quite the l’artiste film with, surprisingly, a deep message that ties (pardon the pun) everything up at the end. Director (among other duties, heh) Shunichiro was in attendance, that was neat ’cause he could fill in the blanks.

“Ryujin Mabuya” was cool, too. With the lead and director and family’s with their li’l kids at this morning’s screening, felt like throwback to when Kikaida and Kamen Rider roadshows made appearances on Oahu in the 1970s, seeming scenes of which you can semi-see at Shirokiya every once in a while; not the same, though, seemingly).

“Kill List” . . . near borefest and highly predictable. Sorry. Got 10+ more films to see!!!

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