“We Need to Talk About Kevin”– a disturbing film starring Tilda Swinton, has won Best Picture at the London Film Festival. “Shakespeare in Love” director John Madden spoke for the jury about Lynne Ramsey’s movie, based on a novel by Lionel Shriver: “This year’s shortlist for Best Film comprises work that is outstanding in terms of its originality and its stylistic reach. It is an international group, one united by a common sense of unflinching human enquiry and we were struck by the sheer panache displayed by these great storytellers. In the end, we were simply bowled over by one film, a sublime, uncompromising tale of the torment that can stand in the place of love. We Need to Talk About Kevin is made with the kind of singular vision that links great directors across all the traditions of cinema.”
“Kevin”‘s win might push Tilda into the Best Actress category for the Academy Awards, joining other potential nominees Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, and Elizabeth Olsen in the running. The problem is that “Kevin” is a weird movie, unpleasant, and somehow doesn’t completely make sense. While Tilda is great as usual, audiences may question how her character, a mother with a mentally odd child, doesn’t do more to cure the problems of wild disobedience bordering on evil behavior.
The other big award at BFI London Film Festival is for documentary. The Grierson Award went to Werner Herzog’s amazing “INTO THE ABYSS: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life.”