Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Written by Jonathan Glazer, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Milo Addica
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Lauren Bacall, Danny Huston, Peter Stormare
Anna (Kidman) has struggled to overcome the death of her husband Sean. Now she’s engaged and hopeful for a brighter future. All is going well when Sean, a young boy, arrives at her home attempting to convince her that he’s her deceased husband. After initially dismissing his claims, Anna is drawn in by the intimate details he seems to have about her life. As the two become close, Anna begins to question everything.
Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) was in the director’s chair for this 2004 film. He also assisted Jean-Claude Carrière (Chinese Box) and Milo Addica (Monster’s Ball) in writing the script. The film features a unique cast of talented actors. These actors include Nicole Kidman (Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus), Cameron Bright (Godsend), Lauren Bacall (The Big Sleep), Danny Huston (21 Grams), and Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski).
The acting in this movie is really nicely done. Kidman does an incredible job pushing the emotions to the surface of her fragile character. It’s also wonderful to see another nice performance from Lauren Bacall. Huston and Stormare also do nice work with their parts in the film. The surprise success from this cast came with Cameron Bright’s performance. His chilling portrayal of the manipulative and detached young boy is great.
This movie looks good as well. The costume design and the sets come together to create a very strange world. The differing cultures within the film are nicely portrayed. The film also benefits from nice cinematography. In addition to the visuals the movie also has a good score that complements the rest of the movie.
The weakness in this film comes with the story. Despite a great premise, the film seems to get lost in the details. Throughout the movie some events are unexplained and some become overly predictable. This really makes the movie feel muddled and vague. Unfortunately, the major twist in the film is glossed over during the height of the film. Despite the good the film has to offer, this story really diminishes the value.
If you’re a fan of Kidman or Bacall, this is one you might want to see. I think this story had potential that was ultimately unreached. If you’re a fan of intense drama you might still find things to enjoy with Birth. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.