Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” – TIFF 2011

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Our preview coverage of the 36th Toronto International Film Festival continues as we approach the Thursday, Sept. 8 launch of this year’s event. In an effort to streamline our coverage, we’re writing about the films we’re eagerly anticipating, knowing that there are bound to be some surprises once we are on the ground in Canada.

For previous TIFF previews, please visit the site’s bustling Awards Alley.

“We Need to Talk About Kevin” is one of the few films flying into Toronto with previous buzz established at a rival fest – in this case Cannes, where Lynne Ramsay’s film played to raves.

Let’s find out why as we prepare for “Kevin” at TIFF 2011.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

The Plot: A mother (Tilda Swinton), whose teenage son goes on a rampage, confronts the anger and fear she feels by writing a letter to the boy’s father (John C. Reilly).

The Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

The Director: Lynne Ramsay (“Ratcatcher,” “Morvern Caller”)

The Scoop: Ramsay returns to the director’s chair after a nine-year absence, and returns to TIFF, which screened her first two films. “Kevin” earned near-universal praise from Cannes journos, who singled out Swinton as one to watch as the awards season ramps up … if audiences can stomach the horrific nature of Ramsay’s subject matter.

Awards Potential: Swinton seems like the strongest play for “Kevin,” which could have difficulty luring older Academy members who might be turned off by the harrowing subject matter, as well as the film’s deliberate tone. Then again, if “Kevin” takes off, Reilly could find his way into a Supporting Actor race, Ramsay could find herself a Best Director candidate, Johnny Greenwood’s score could earn a nomination, and Ramsay and Rory Kinnear’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver could nab one of the five Best Adapted Screenplay slots.

Right now, Oscilloscope seems to be eyeing a Dec. 2 limited release for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” In the meantime, we’ll be covering it extensively from the Toronto International Film Festival.

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