I go to the cinema a lot, so I’d seen the trailer for this countless times which is always a bit annoying – especially when you end up feeling like you’ve already seen half of the film. It has been much talked about and ended up winning best film of the LFF against some really strong competition, but to be honest it left me a bit cold.
I hadn’t read the book so had no preconceptions about the story but am a big fan of Lynne Ramsay so had high hopes – such a shame that she didn’t get to make The Lovely Bones – it would have been a completely different and without a doubt a much better film if she’d had got to grips with it. So this is her first shot at a major movie, and it’s done with style. She gets what is sure to be an award winning performance from Tilda Swinton (who has since annoyed the tits off me by implying movies are beneath her lofty intellectual ideals) and the various Kevins are magnetic, particularly middle Kevin. It’s a strong film in many ways and I am sure people will rave about it.
So why didn’t it strike home with me? I think because it lacked any real warmth and to care about the bad bits, I need to care about the people they are happening to. Even the usually reliable John C Reilly was wet as a wet thing and Eva seemed to have no redeeming features whatsoever. For me, too, the red symbolism was a bit overdone although admittedly the opening dream sequences of the tomato festival are stunning. It certainly isn’t a bad film and marks a successful shift into the mainstream for Ramsay.
On a side note, I learned that Lionel is a girl’s name too. So there you go.