We Need to Talk About Kevin details the lifelong battle between a mother and her son. From before he was born, Eva (Tilda Swinton) has resented her son Kevin (played by three actors, including Ezra Miller, who is frightful as Kevin as a teenager and young adult). The film is told in flashback, and that is perhaps key to why the kid comes across as a horror from the start. Is he really (He certainly turns out that way), or is it only how Eva sees him through a prism of spite? The film doesn’t condemn Kevin (Don’t mistake that; it doesn’t condone him, either); it instead explores what forces have come together to bring him to commit a horrifying act. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Ralph Fiennes directed and stars in this modern-dress adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays. Coriolanus finds many modern parallels in its story of a career military man who tries to turn to politics during a time of social upheaval and tension with a rebellious force. The performances are solid, with Fiennes, Brian Cox, and Vanessa Redgrave as the standouts (Gerard Butler, as the leader of the opposing army where Coriolanus eventually finds himself after showing his true colors to the public, is the weak point), and the connections to our current political climate are intelligent. The problem is the play itself, which is essentially missing a fourth act. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
If you put a man on a ledge, you have to get him down somehow. That’s the quandary screenwriter Pablo F. Fenjves puts himself into with Man on a Ledge. Sam Worthington plays the man on a ledge, who threatens to jump unless the cops let him stay on the ledge for a while longer. In retrospect, the premise doesn’t make much sense, but it’s simple enough that, in the moment, we buy into it for a bit. The visceral thrill of a man standing on a slim ledge on the 21st floor of a building helps, too, but it begins an unstoppable freefall into the realm of the preposterous. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.