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June 24, 2017

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Too late 'To Talk About Kevin' (凱文怎麼了)

"We Need to Talk About Kevin" is a horror movie for parents. Strip away the showy flashbacks — cutting between several pasts and several points in the present — and it's "We Need to talk About Damien." Because the only simple, satisfying way of explaining the monster at the heart of this nightmare is "He's the spawn of the Devil."

Except he isn't. Co-writer/director Lynne Ramsay ("Morvern Callar" was hers), working from a Lionel Shriver novel, takes us into the confused, overwhelmed mind of a mother (Tilda Swinton) whose son has done something horrific. As Eve staggers through every awful day after that, everything in her life reminds her of the many signs that something was wrong with that boy pretty much from birth. And how neither she nor anyone else could figure out a way to prevent a disaster.

Eve is ostracized in her town, slapped by strangers in the street, forever scrubbing or grinding off red paint spattered over her vandalized house and car. Her memories let her escape -- she's back in her young, free-wheeling, traveling days, embracing the hedonism of the La Tomatina tomato festival in Spain, the romance that led to her marriage to Franklin (John C. Reilly).

But quickly, another memory drowns that out. There's Kevin, the baby who cried so incessantly that she would pause, next to a jackhammer, just for the relief of not hearing his screams. In Daddy's arms, he was angelic. But mom saw the real Kevin -- a smart child who refused to talk, a defiant kid who spent years refusing to be potty trained, a boy whose studied cruelty he perfected before his first day of school.

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