RATCATCHER
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.


WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
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.


YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
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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