Birth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Birth Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 27, 2010
wts
FiLmCrAzY
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2008
It bored me really and i didnt finish it, it just was slow and boring
thmtsang
Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2008
Anna is a widow who is about to re-marry when a young boy claims to be her husband reincarnated. Some inappropriate scenes.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2006
The premise of this mystery drama is actually rather interesting: a jogger dies, a baby is born. Ten years later that baby is confronting the jogger's widow who is about to get married again, claiming to be her dead husband. Kidman, proofing once again that she is looking good in any hairdo, gives a great performance. So does Anne Heche, whose character plays a big part in the mystery. The intentionally dismal look and hypnotic soundtrack make for an unsettling atmosphere. Sadly, the movie is falling to pieces when the solution is presented way too early and has nothing to add after that. It's merely a drama about grieve in the end, and not a really good one either.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2008
Odd, yet appealing.
arashxak
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2008
I think the main storyline is good but the movie fails miserably, I think the main promblem is the characterization of the child, The way Anna believes that he's Sean and falls in love with him again,the whole thing is not convincing and this is just the main problem IMO
puffchunk
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2008
Nicole Kidman really crossed the line with this one. I thought fur was bad, but in this one she practically screws a 10 year old boy. It's a neat story idea, but prepare for uncomfortable scenes to watch with the whole family.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2007
Birth is a few decent ideas loaded in a mire of pretentious twaddle and coated up all austere and stately to make it seem like there's art to be found. You wanna throw around your pseudo-intellectual weight? Try defending this hatefully arrogant piece of trash. Everyone bitched about this movie being CHILD PORN because Cameron Bright hopped in the bathtub with a woman three times his age, but what's really offensive about Birth is how awesome it thinks it is.

I think the only thing I took away from this movie is the knowledge that Anne Heche can actually act if she feels like it. I already knew Nicole Kidman could, and this movie is basically just one gigantic stage for her to heave around her dramatics. That two minute shot of her face at the theater? There's a point where "look at the slowly degenerating emotional state of this woman" becomes "look at how well Nicole Kidman can subtly fluctuate her facial expressions" and this movie crosses it with splendid ignorance. And far be it from me to defend Crazy Almost Lesbian, but she's always the most watchable character on screen - for the love of God, she has energy! A personality, even! They are diamonds in the mound of placenta that is Birth.

Wow, and is Cameron Bright bad. Sure, he plays his character okay, but it is ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION. ONE VOICE. The entire way through. He's in nearly every scene in the movie and he can't be arsed to add inflection or a eyebrow twitch or anything! Fucking hell. I could have given a better performance than that at 10. I hate Danny Huston in everything he's in so that's no big surprise; check him out in the scene where he goes after Sean. It provoked the strongest emotion I felt throughout the span of the movie...rollicking laughter. "He kicked my chair!!" Lauren Bacall manages to squeeze a tiny bit of character in the movie as well, but she is no more interesting than the rest of the yuppie saps on display.

If you haven't picked it up already, my primary gripe with Birth is that it has confused artistic vision with utter sterilization. There's scarcely a drop of humanity to be found amidst the snowy landscapes and the oppressively beige color scheme. Stuffed with soft, lingering shots of Nicole Kidman silhouetted against city landscapes, it's obvious that Birth aspires to be "art". It's all well and good to have a pretty-looking movie, but Birth stops offering anything visually new within the first half hour; even in this department it fails. The music is another bid at adding class to this lame affair, but it's often out of place and feels just as pretentious as the rest of the movie. In its attempts to find this "art", it downplays its narrative to the point of minimalism. Not to knock on minimalism, but this movie's not having it.

The premise is undeniably intriguing and unique, offering a trove of opportunities for characterization and drama. But why didn't Jonathan Glazer run with it all the way? He pussied out, to put it as clearly as possible without spoilers. Birth turns into a laughable episode of Scooby Doo within the final fifteen minutes, and despite Kidman's efforts to add dramatic validity to the proceedings, it is really laughable. No matter how hard she showboats, you just can't buy into this movie. It doesn't let you. There's no human angle, just walls upon walls of stifling faux-art tripe and manufactured restraint.

I guess it's not really fair to say that there's no human angle, because the concept in itself is as human as you can get. It is then a testament to how bad Glazer fucked this one up that the warmth and pathos are sucked completely dry. For all the hullabaloo that surrounded this movie upon its release, it really should have been good enough to warrant it.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2008
Very uncomfortable to sit through.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Glazer should be the highest paid director out there right now.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2007
Weird movie about a boy who claims to be Nicole Kidman's deceased husband. It's a bit creepy and confusing what is happening. The ending offers a possible explanation, but it leaves it open to questions.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2007
co-written by Bunuel's screenwriter; it's a sort of a dark comedy in regards to the huge age difference, and a drama about when we're sure we're not living the right life
gor41
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2007
Chilly psycho-drama.Jonathan 'Sexy Beast' Glazer tackles grief with a sympathetic attitude to the possibility of reincarnation. Mixed in with this are themes of enduring love and child psychosis - not a laugh a minute then, and your enjoyment will depend on whether you buy Miss Kidman's changes of heart. The twist/explanation also falls flat and rather spoils the air of mystery created early on by the excellent young actor Cameron Bright and an eerie score.
deano
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2007
The sense of sadness is palpable, thanks to Nicole Kidman, although the bath scene is still offensive.
ajaymuthecooldevils
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2006
Actually, this movie isn't that bad. But, seeing Nicole in short hair and have an affair with a 10 years old boy is so disgusting! Even I am one of her fans...
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]"Birth" is about Anna(Nicole Kidman) who has just gotten engaged to Joseph(Danny Huston), ten years after having been widowed. A ten year old boy, Sean, has just made his presence known and claims to be Anna's deceased husband.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Birth" is a rather strange movie in that it lacks any conviction at all. As a provocation, it fails. It's not much of a romance either and we never get any sense as to what Anna's first husband may have been like before he died. The film is desperately in need of a sense of humor because the central premise is not believable.(Yes, there is an explanation, and no it does not make any sense.) It also feels more like a film set in the 19th than the 21st century - the movie is populated with characters who are wealthy yet without a visible means of support; all of the couples look mismatched and here marriage seems like a sentence without a chance for parole. And Nicole Kidman gives yet another flat performance.[/font]
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2011
Birth is a beautiful and provocative story of love, death and irrationality. Haunting and lingering performances from Nicole Kidman and young Cameron Bright. Birth is the story of a young boy who claims to be the re-incarnation of the husband of a woman about to remarry after 10 years. Itâ(TM)s an eerie and elegant psychological film brilliantly crafted and paced by director Jonathan Glazer. I tend to think, if you ever been truly in love youâ(TM)ll find Birth less offensive and more emotionally riveting.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2007
Creepy. A bomb at the box office for good reason.
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2009
I initially dismissed this as pretentious tripe, watching "Birth" again softened my view considerably and I rather like it. Still pretentious, but I have a better sense of what Glazer is trying to say about the American aristocracy (that they are shallow, empty morons) and that the film is less of a mystery centered on the possibility that this boy is the reincarnated soul of the dead husband, and more about how we assign identity . . . both to ourselves and to others. This might also be Kidman's best performance.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2006
A film that's very easy to admire but difficult to love, Birth has an excellent cast, an interesting director, an eerie music score and sometimes beautiful photography. But its 'ghostly' feel has the effect, on me anyway, of not being able to engage with the story and, in all honesty, become invested with the character's plight (despite an exceptional, unshowy performance from Nicole Kidman). The semi-'ambiguousness' of the truth about 'Sean' is nicely done, as is the rather fantastically downbeat realisation that dawns on Anna at the beach (echoes of Kidman's work in The Hours at one point). So, I admired the film, appreciated that it was doing something different, thought the acting was stellar (Anne Heche is especially, and surprisingly, good in a small but important role) and the direction assured, but basically left the film feeling unmoved. Worth a watch though.
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