Monday 18 November 2019

Cannes hopeful's Blue Peter budget

Tilda Swinton, left, and Rory Stewart Kinnear talk We Need to Talk About Kevin
Tilda Swinton, left, and Rory Stewart Kinnear talk We Need to Talk About Kevin

The only British contender for the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival is like "Ben Hur on a Blue Peter budget", according to its director.

Lynne Ramsay said she was delighted to be able to bring low-budget We Need To Talk About Kevin, which is about the aftermath of a high-school massacre, to the festival.

The film, which stars Oscar winner Tilda Swinton as the mother of a boy responsible for killing his classmates, is based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver.

Ramsay said: "I think a film like this you're always going to have a bit of a controversial reaction but you know I feel good about the piece of work I've done. There was an nice sense of satisfaction at the end of making the film and Cannes was a bonus."

Swinton said she understood some people would find the film challenging. She said: "It is material that occupies relatively taboo status, the concept of a mother, she is detached, who isn't in love with her son, it's a tough one."

The Glasgow-born director said the film, which was shot mainly in the United States, was filmed to a tight budget: "Going to America and making a film was even a bit challenging. It's been a real labour of love, just working, working, working. That's what I like to do."

The crew also had one hour to film scenes showing Swinton's character in the middle of a Spanish festival where partygoers fling tomatoes at each other, leaving the streets covered in juice.

Ramsay said: "Actually we didn't have loads of money to play with so we had to think in that way, you know to get the meat of the film, you know do as much as you could do with very little that's the idea, it was like grabbing Ben Hur on a Blue Peter budget."

The film is up against entries from America, Finland and Spain for the coveted Palme d'Or.

PA Media

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