1999, Pathe, 94 min, UK/France, Dir: Lynne Ramsay

Writer-director Lynne Ramsay’s bracing feature debut offers a look at growing up in squalor in Scotland in the 1970s. Set during a garbage strike, RATCATCHER follows James Gillespie (William Eadie), a 12-year-old boy living in one of Glasgow’s poorer slums, where local gangs and an isolated canal are constant perils. Superbly shot and featuring a mostly nonprofessional cast, this powerful drama peppers its social realism with occasional humor and flights of fancy to create an unforgettable portrait of childhood.

2011, Oscilloscope Laboratories, 112 min, UK/USA, Dir: Lynne Ramsay

This suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller explores the fractious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva’s own culpability is measured against Kevin’s innate evilness. Ramsay’s masterful storytelling simultaneously combines a provocative moral ambiguity with a satisfying and compelling narrative, which builds to a chilling, unforgettable climax.

2017, Amazon Studios, 89 min, UK/France/USA, Dir: Lynne Ramsay

Based on the noir novella by Jonathan Ames, this thriller hurtles viewers headlong into the psychological breakdown of a troubled mercenary named Joe (Cannes Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix), a former U.S. soldier turned FBI agent, who now devotes his considerable capacity for violence to the rescue of kidnapped young women. When his latest assignment to retrieve a senator’s daughter (Ekaterina Samsonov) goes brutally wrong, Joe’s tightly controlled world spirals into chaos, and he is forced to confront his inability to save anyone - least of all himself. “No shot or cut here is idle or extraneous. … In a Lynne Ramsay film, even the off-key elements are perfectly chosen; an exquisite, anxious study in damage, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE knows exactly the value of its scars.” - Guy Lodge, Variety.

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