Stellar “Kevin” trailer drops ahead of Savannah premiere – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell You’re supposed to “leave ‘em laughing,” as the old saying goes. So maybe the programmers at the Savannah Film Festival should have reversed tonight’s double feature, which begins in Trustees Theater with the ensemble comedy “Butter” before transitioning into Lynne Ramsay’s visceral “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

The latter is lacking in laughs. But it’s totally worth your time.

Ramsay’s film probes the psyche of a mother (Tilda Swinton) whose teenage son goes on a killing spree at his high school. But “Kevin,” based on a best-selling book, traces a path through the killer’s childhood to see if his evil personality is a product of nature or nurture.

The answers aren’t pretty. But “Kevin” often is, as anyone who has seen Ramsay’s previous, visually sumptuous films could predict. Swinton’s performance is Oscar worthy, as are the supporting turns by Ezra Miller (as teenage Kevin) and John C. Reilly (as Swinton’s husband).

“Butter,” a butter-carving satire starring Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman, screened on the fall film festival circuit, though I missed it. I’m anxious to hear reactions out of Savannah for what has been called “an unexpectedly entertaining and frequently laugh-out-loud funny piece of work” by David Nusair of Reel Film.

In the meantime, here’s the latest “Kevin” trailer, which Oscilloscope just put on the Web. The film gets a limited release on Dec. 9.

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