US Release Date: 10-29-2004
Directed by: Jonathan Glazer
- Nicole Kidman, as
- Cameron Bright, as
- Young Sean
- Danny Huston, as
- Lauren Bacall, as
- Alison Elliott, as
- Arliss Howard, as
- Mike Desautels, as
- Anne Heche as
Nicole Kidman in Birth.
Ten years after the death of her husband, Anna meets a ten year old boy who claims to be her dead husband Sean. What a fascinating set up. There is any number of directions that this movie could have gone in. Sadly to say, it takes the wrong path.
Anna is still pining over her husband. She still visits his grave. She is currently engaged, but only after turning her fiancée down several times before. Early in the movie there is a needlessly gratuitous sex scene where we see that Anna is thinking more about a ten year old boy than her intended humping her on screen.
Yes, the movie smacks of pedophilia on many levels. Anna accepts quite easily that Sean is her husband born again. In one scene, she seriously asks him, "How are you going to take care of my needs?" You know what she means because she then asks this ten year old, "Have you ever made love?" Then there is the much talked about tub scene. Sean walks in as Anna is buck naked in the tub. He proceeds to get naked and enter the tub with her. Anna's big question is a mild, "What are you doing?"
As a parent who is around boys that are really close to the age of the child in this movie, I will tell you that no ten year old acts the way this child does. So my question is, WHAT THE HELL WERE THESE WRITERS THINKING? Were they molested as children or do they have some kiddie-porn fantasies? Just imagine if this was an adult male talking to a ten year old girl. The writers could have explored the subject of her husband coming back from the dead very well without the sexual content.
However, if they left the sex out of this movie there would be nothing left to talk about. This movie is so damn slow. The first scene show's Anna's husband running in the park before having a heart attack and dying. It is a long scene that could have had credits or something. Instead we spend several minutes of just watching this man jog through a winery park. Later in the movie, the director takes every chance he gets to linger on someone's face. There is no dialogue in these scenes, you just see a close up and then you have to imagine what the character is thinking.
I am sure that some snooty film aficionado will claim that all of this soap opera type direction is very artistic. Whatever! I like a movie with actors who have distinct voices and good lines. Such as when Lauren Bacall says to the ten year old, "Is Mr. Reincarnation enjoying his cake?"
Clearly Anna is mentally unstable, but that does not justify the ridiculous manner in which she, and everyone else for that matter, reacts to the child. Birth is as stupid as it is offensive!
Photos © Copyright New Line Cinema (2004)