Says Tilda Swinton, “It’s a bloody business, being a parent.”
Hopefully, not as bloody as the carnage that drives “We Have To Talk About Kevin,” Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of the best-selling novel by Lionel Shriver. However, at the Thursday morning press conference that followed the film’s press screening — the first screening for a full audience — Swinton says she definitely sees the real-life parallels between parenthood and the conflicts faced by her character, a mother who must cope with the fact that her 15-year-old son is a sociopathic mass murderer.
“It’s a truly, truly murderous business, giving birth,” says Swinton, who is a mother to a twin boy and girl. “Even more frightening is she’s giving birth to her own violence.”
Ezra Miller, who portrays the murderous Kevin, says he does feel “a little connected” to his character. “It’s a little scary,” he says. “Finding those conditions and circumstances, I could have been Kevin.”
Ramsay says that her motivation to make the film partially stemmed from observations about her own family growing up. “Families are so complicated,” she says. “My mother would always be there for (my brother), even if she didn’t like him.”
For all the discussion of violence, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is relatively free of bloodshed. “You only see the aftermath,” Ramsay says. And while that was an artistic choice, she says it was also financial given the project’s low budget. But, she says, the financial difficulties weren’t anything special.
“I think every film is hard,” she says. “I was on ‘The Lovely Bones’ for five years and that went to Peter Jackson.” She paused. “I’m sure you’ve all seen that.”
Smirking, Miller said, “Or not.”
“Or not.” Ramsay’s smile, while not murderous, carried a certain satisfaction.