We Need to Talk About Kevin

The primary reason to im­merse yourself in the jagged world of We Need to Talk About Kevin is the towering lead performance by Tilda Swin­ton, an actress of continuing spontaneity who traveled a circuitous route through experimental and art cinema before embarking on a second career in the mainstream. Swinton plays Eve Khatcha­dourian, a successful travel writer whose life takes a sudden turn when, during a dizzying job assignment, she meets and falls in love with the jovial Franklin (John C. Reilly). Before she knows it, she is married and pregnant in New York City.

Motherhood proves to be extremely difficult for Eve. As she deals with the nonstop crying and screaming of the in­fant years, she starts to wonder why she made the decision to give birth. These uncertainties turn to confusion and resentment when her son, Kevin, proves to be the toddler from hell, an angry and defiant boy whose sole desire appears to be making Eve's life miserable. (Of course, Kevin is all smiles and giggles around Franklin, which makes Eve look like a weak-kneed whiner.) As the years pass, the situation worsens—despite Eve's attempts to make things work—until we realize that Kevin's problems are anything but garden variety.