Screened Mother

Provocative, courageous or alarming? Considering We Need to Talk about Kevin was written by a woman (Lionel Shriver) and directed by Lynne Ramsay (pictured below on the set of We Need to Talk about Kevin) and co-produced by Tilda Swinton, how does Eva (portrayed by Swinton) fit into the current landscape of women’s characters on the big screen?

Here’s a small sample of Eva’s existence after Kevin’s horrific crime. Motherhood questioned.


The author, the actress, the director

Is Eva a bad mother? Is she too hard on herself, or is she not hard enough? Author Lionel Shriver, Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay share their perspectives on We Need to Talk about Kevin. If you’re not familiar with the story – there are major spoilers in these interviews, nevertheless you might find their insights that much more intriguing. These three women have strong views about this story. Do you agree with them?

Interview with Lionel Shriver


Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay interview part 1


Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay interview part 2

Tilda transforms into Eva

Tilda Swinton has always been known for taking challenging female roles. From starring in  Sally Potter’s film adaptation of Virginia Wolf’s classic novel Orlando, to playing Russian aristocrat in I Am Love, to her Oscar winning role in Michael Clayton and not to mention becoming The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, Tilda’s genius is evident. Now, that she’s embodied the guilt stricken Eva in We Need to Talk about Kevin – what is your take on Tilda personifying this fascinating character?

Eva’s motivation

Was Kevin born wicked, or was his cold heart the inevitable consequence of an unaffectionate mother? Do you think the answer to this classic ‘nature versus nurture’ debate—whether character is formed by environment or is innate—has to be one or the other?


Check out this article by Cambridge University Professor Simon Baron-Cohen who discusses Kevin’s case and his lack of empathy for others. What is your take on this issue?

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