8:00 PM, 14th April, 2012
Albert Nobbs is a superb period drama centred on an extraordinary tale of deception. In 19th century Ireland a woman dresses as a man, 'Albert Nobbs', so she can get a decent job and life to survive in those harsher times. Remarkably, this goes on for years, decades. Eventually, Albert's deception takes on a life of its own, and there are hints of romance with consequences for Albert and others in her/his life. The story strikes at the heart of the question of identity - who do we think we are, and who are we really?
The film is a quiet one, emotionally powerful and deeply moving. Its success is due in no short measure to a stellar central performance by Glenn Close. She was instrumental in bringing this story first to the stage and, now, to the big screen. The role of Albert is convincingly hers. We know that Glenn Close can act competently (dare I say with Knobs on?) - think Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction. So it's not surprising she has been lauded in the cinema awards season with best acting nominations for her performance here. This one is certainly worth watching.
10:04 PM, 14th April, 2012
We Need to Talk About Kevin is based on the best-selling novel by Lionel Shriver. Tilda Swinton (I Am Love, The Beach, Burn After Reading) yet again brings an amazing performance, this time as Eva Khatchadourian, the mother of teenager Kevin (Miller) who is in juvenile detention for committing a heinous crime.
Eva's memories are used to recount Kevin's childhood, reflecting on her own misgivings at becoming a mother as she tries to cope with the anger and frustration resulting from ruminating on his disturbing early behaviour; recalling sinister indicators that could have forewarned his violent actions. Flashbacks are used effectively to solve the mystery of Eva's present life as the disjointed narrative uncovers the truth of Eva and Kevin's past.
We Need to Talk About Kevin premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and received high praise from many critics, with Jake Martin best describing the film as "ground-breaking in its marriage of the darkest, most dubious components of contemporary cinema with a redemptive message".
The film navigates a fine line between tense thriller and painful drama. What establishes it as incredibly thought-provoking is the strong portrayal of grief and anguish in Tilda Swinton's mesmerising and devastating performance. We Need to Talk About Kevin is definitely a film not to be missed.