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3.2 out of 5 stars 239 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Birth (DVD)

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman stars as a delicate young widow who is on the verge of a new life when a solemn little boy appears, claiming to be the reincarnation of her dead husband. Could this child truly be her husband, returned to her? Can she refuse the chance to again experience the love she still feels for him? Ten years after the sudden death of her husband (Michael Desautels), Anna is finally ready to emerge from the shadow of grief and marry Joseph, who has patiently courted her for three years. But a 10-year-old boy (Cameron Bright) tells her he is her husband and warns her not to marry Joseph. Now, despite the concern of her friends, family and fiancé, Anna develops an increasingly stronger bond with the haunting young boy in the metaphysical mystery of Birth.


Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Arliss Howard
  • Directors: Jonathan Glazer
  • Writers: Jonathan Glazer, Jean-Claude Carrière, Milo Addica
  • Producers: Jean-Louis Piel, Kerry Orent, Mark Ordesky, Nick Morris, Lizie Gower
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007P0X9G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Birth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film is definitely different. Unlike many of the films made today, it doesn't think the viewer is stupid and everything needs to be explained down to every little last detail. By that alone, I find this film to be exceptional experience.

The premise, I have to admit, is quite extreme. A woman's life is turned upside down when a young boy shows up at her door, literally, and claims to be her first dead husband. She is only too eager to believe it is true.

However, I didn't find the story to be this films strength, but the emotion it was able to communicate through visuals and music. This film is shot quite beautifully. Rich colors, elegant set designs, dramatic lighting, grainy quality that evoke the memories of old film footages, they are all wonderful just to stare at. The music is also fantastic, doing a wonderful job complimenting the story and the scenery and not overpowering them, yet letting its presence be known.

What the visuals and the music achieve is evocation of feelings. Kind of feelings when one is watching an old 8mm footage. Feelings of memories. Sweetness, love, longing, bitterness, regret, hope, and such feelings that people dearly hold on to. I find this to be the strength of this movie and its approach totally refreshing. It doesn't explain or show or tell. It lets the viewer experience, through vision and sound.

Another factor that greatly contributes to this film's effectiveness is Nicole Kidman. Although I seldom find her acting to be of much notice, she was quite powerful in this film, allowing her expressions and gestures to communicate. One good example is the concert hall scene, just moments after she witnesses the boy, who claims to be her dead husband, collapse in shock.
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This is a very strange movie.

The plot is this: A young woman's husband dies. Ten years later, she's finally about to move on with her life and remarry, when suddenly a 10-year-old boy appears, insisting that he's her dead husband, reincarnated. At first, she and her family and her fiance all try to laugh it off, but this boy knows things about her that no one else could know and he's, well, he's strange. He doesn't act like a 10-year-old boy. And he wants his wife back.

So, first of all, you have this kind of uncomfortable plot with Nicole Kidman and a 10-year-old boy contemplating sex and stuff. Beyond that, the movie is kind of artsy. There are long, slow shots and a lot of the film is subtle. It's not at all predictable or formulaic, and I think that's made some audiences uncomfortable. Hell, I think the whole movie has made audiences uncomfortable. It's an uncomfortable movie.

It's also a very interesting one.

Watching "Birth," I was reminded of some of Stanley Kubrick's later movies. The acting is exceptional and the movie takes lots of chances. It never takes the easy route. So, for all of those reasons, I really found it interesting and worthwhile. There were a lot of great "moments" that have stayed with me.

But if you're a person who tends to prefer mainstream Hollywood movies, you are going to HATE this movie. Truly.
2 Comments 129 of 148 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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It takes a lot of guts to make a "thinking movie," titillating the mind rather than bloodlust or hormones. And Jonathan Glazer takes a risk with "Birth," a bizarrely beautiful film about reincarnation and spiritual ties -- a risky maneuver, but one that pays off. The result is beautiful and strangely solemn.

A jogger named Sean dies in the park -- and a baby is born. Ten years later, the jogger's widow Anna (Nicole Kidman) is reluctantly celebrating her engagement to yuppie fiancee Joseph (Danny Huston). Suddenly a ten-year-old boy named Sean appears (Cameron Bright) and announces that he is Anna's husband, reincarnated into a boy's body.

At first, Joseph tells the kid he's wrong, and Anna brushes the kid off as a nasty prankster. But Sean knows intimate details about her marriage, and has a strange passion behind his claims. She begins to believe that he is telling the truth -- that he is her Sean, reborn. She reexamines her life and her future, as old wounds reopen and questions are raised.

A lot of fuss has been made over "Birth's" nude bath scene. Don't worry -- it's not sexual or prurient, but strange and almost surreal. It takes guts to include such a scene, even in a movie that is more about the spiritual than the physical. In a nutshell, it's a movie with heart (even if a logical brain is a little lacking)

And that scene aside, the movie is richly ambient, darkly beautiful, and raises an array of troubling questions. Is Sean really a reincarnation, or is he simply a young boy who worships a thirtysomething woman? Does Anna simply want to believe he is? And is spiritual love enough to conquer all? These questions, by the way, are left hanging in the air -- to do otherwise would seem almost silly.
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Format: DVD
The plot of this 2004 film almost made me want to ignore it. But it stars Nicole Kidman who's one of the most versatile actors in the business and it's a low-budget independent film targeted at the art-house market.

The plot revolves around a young widow, Anna. Her husband has been dead for ten years and she is about to remarry. Her future husband, Danny Huston is deeply in love with her. Lauren Bacall is cast as Anna's mother and everyone is New York Penthouse wealthy. Suddenly, in the middle of the happy couple's joyous engagement party, a ten-year old boy appears. Later, he returns, claiming to be the reincarnation of Anna's dead husband. Cameron Bright is cast in this role and he seems so adult that it's hard to believe he's only ten years old.

From the very first scene I was hooked. The script is tight, the setting perfect and the background classical music a perfect complement to the mysterious goings on. Most of the characters are disbelieving. And they are annoyed that Anna can't stop thinking that the young boy is really her former husband. All the other characters are realists and honestly believe that the child is just making thing up. But how does he know all the intimate details of Anna's former marriage? And could it be Anne Heche, cast as a friend of Anna's with a secret of her own, who holds the key to the mystery?

The film moves fast and there is not a wasted word or an extra scene. And the acting is nothing short of remarkable. The appeal of this film to the general public is limited but I, personally, loved it. And I highly recommend it for sophisticated audiences only.
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