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W hat happens when bad children happen to good parents? Does it mean they are not, in fact, as good as they had imagined themselves to be? With these questions, British director Lynne Ramsay has created a nihilist tale of guilt and horror. Working with co-writer Rory Kinnear, she has adapted Lionel Shriver's prizewinning novel — whose much-spoofed title is now part of the language — about a woman whose teenage son Kevin has committed a Columbine-style massacre. This adaptation raises a subject which has eluded other films on the same subject, such as Gus Van Sant's Elephant or indeed Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine: the subject of the aftermath. Kevin cannot be tried as an adult. So who, in the end, will wind up getting the blame for a teenage boy's psychopathic rampage? Why, the mother of course, like the Blessed Virgin absorbing reflected adoration of the crucified Christ. Her success as a travel writer originally meant they could afford a handsome family home, but we join the story as Eva, her life in ruins, is living on her own in a scuzzy bungalow, a pill-popping drinker.
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The screenplay, written by Ramsay and Rory Stewart Kinnear, was based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver. A long process of development and financing began in , with filming commencing in April Tilda Swinton stars as the mother of Kevin, struggling to come to terms with her son and the horrors he has committed. It received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike. Teenager Kevin Khatchadourian is in prison after committing a massacre at his high school. His mother, Eva, once a successful travel writer , lives alone in a rundown house and works in a travel agency near the prison, where she visits Kevin.
Here, the family is not the gently glowing space where parents find the meaning in their lives, mothers do not always bond with their children, but teenagers—they kill other teenagers. We Need to Talk About Kevin. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. What provokes discomfort is, rather, her very capacity to do so. Eva is persecuted—her property is covered in red paint, she is struck in the street—as if she, rather than her son, was really responsible for the atrocity.