by Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 25 November 2011

A delightful uncomfortable film, told from the point of view of a broken woman. Kevin’s just not right, and that’s obvious from the outset as mother Eva battles to bring him up in a world where the onus is put squarely back on the mother. The intensity is poured on throughout, as tragedy seems imminent.

Based on Lionel Shriver’s 2003 novel of the same name, Tilda Swinton is outstanding in the lead role, while John C. Reilly is also brilliant as the completely clueless father. The wonderfully uncomfortable closeness of son and mother is arresting, along with the agonizing storytelling pace. Similar in many ways to Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, the beauty in this story is in the hints, and what’s left unsaid.