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Birth [DVD]

3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall, Alison Elliott
  • Directors: Jonathan Glazer
  • Producers: Lizie Gower, Nick Morris, Jean-Louise Piel, Wang Wei
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 2 May 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GVKHA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,234 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Enigmatic psychological drama directed by Jonathan Glazer, starring Nicole Kidman as Anna, a wealthy widow in her mid-30s living in New York's Upper East Side. Anna is finally recovering after the death of her husband, Sean, and is coming to terms with her new life to the extent that she is now engaged to be married to a new man, Joseph (Danny Huston). But when she meets ten-year-old David (Cameron Bright), her life is thrown into disarray: the boy claims to be a reincarnation of her dead husband, and in her fragile and unsettled state Anna becomes increasingly obsessed by him - much to the concern of her fiancé and her mother, Eleanor (Lauren Bacall).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Let's get the downside out of the way first. Yes, to be honest, the plot is rather thin and when the film has finished will inspire a fair amount of disbelief in those who care to exmaine the story.
But on the upside, whilst you are immersed in the fim's wonderful cinematography, its bleak pallette of wintery colours and grainy visuals, those long, still scenes, and the moody, hypnotic soundtrack, you will be sucked into the atmosphere of suspense and mystery.
Don't listen to all the naysayers, this film is well worth a watch. Lock Stock and 2 Smoking barrels it certainly isn't (as a 1 star reviewer unfairly compared it to). If that's you're kind of film then go and watch something else. If you want to explore a different kind of film making, one with style, substance and scenes of quiet contemplation, then watch Birth.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
This film has such a strong sense of atmosphere, the confusion of its heroine is so palpable, that I found it both hypnotic and moving. Nicole Kidman gives a superb performance as a woman in an acute state of crisis, and there is real pain in her predicament, as well as a strange sense of bluff at the absurdity of its premise. It is this mystery that the film sustains so beautifully, and the camerawork supports it brilliantly, creating an Upper West Side all in refined tones, both cosseted and as opaque as the emotions of its inhabitants. Kidman is gazelle-like in appearance and sensitive to every least gesture. A scene at a concert finds her reduced to a state of nervous collapse as the music expresses her tumult of feeling, and the camera holds her face for what seems like a very long time, but the strange power that is built up remains with you. As does the final scene on the beach, the meaning of which was not entirely clear to me, but it was no less moving for not being entirely fathomable. These last few minutes have a feeling few films can generate and are the mark of the very distinctive spell the film casts. The boy is also well cast and the scenes he has with Kidman have a highly original tone with a sense of the comic - there is no other film quite like it.
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Format: DVD
Birth died a death (pardon the pun) before it was even released due to unwelcome and hysterical publicity at its suggestion of sexual relations between a grown woman and a ten-year-old boy. Something of a flop, I watched it without any specific expectations or prejudices about its premise and was pleasantly surprised. As often with more elegaic, slow-moving films, you get a raft of irate reviewers on Amazon screaming about how bored they were as if they have been personally affonted. Maybe they were expecting something from Nicole Kidman on the level of Bewitched or The Stepford Wives? This is not conventional Hollywood - but more (perhaps self-consciously) European in style, darkly symbolic in the mold of Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Innocence - with shades of David Lynch and Luis Bunuel.

Richly atmospheric, with an uncanny performance by Cameron Bright as the possible reincarnation of Nicole Kidman's dead husband, it is a chilling examination of loss and grief. Although it operates on one level as a supernatural thriller, there are more subtle currents at work here that less imaginative filmgoers like to dismiss as boring or pretentious. Allow yourself to be pulled into the sombre mood, however, and stop expecting things 'To Happen', and you might be rewarded with something deeper and more nuanced. If you don't have much of an attention span or a capacity to enjoy films which aren't supposed to be treated as literal, then you should avoid this. 'Birth' has its faults, but it doesn't deserve the vitriolic abuse it has received here.
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Format: DVD
Seeing this film for the second time recently allowed me to take my focus off the plot development and simply soak up the ambience. I can easily understand the dislike for this film, but certainly not around the bath scene. Anna did not seem to me to be embarking on a sexual relationship with a 10 year old. She clearly states she would wait 11 years till he was legally an adult.
I particularly enjoyed the cinematography, soundtrack and a fantastic performance by Anne Heche, with her underscore of violence.
All in all a great, bleak thoughtful film. I loved the ending.
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Format: DVD
I remember when it was released in 2004, there was a big hurrah about "the" bath scene, many vitriolic complaints about how slow it was, how not scary it was et al. Birth is many wonderful film making things, of course not all of those things will resonate or enthral many of the movie watching populace, yet there is such craft on both sides of the camera here, and an atmospherically ambiguous bloodline pulsing throughout, that marks it out as a particularly striking film.

Plot finds Nicole Kidman as Anna, who is about to be re-married but finds her world tipped upside down when a young boy (Cameron Bright) arrives on the scene and announces he is the reincarnation of her dead first husband...

Director Jonathan Glazer and his co-writers Jean-Claude Carrière & Milo Addica are purposely being vague, I mean lets face it, the topic to hand is exactly that, vague, and ripe for countless hours of discussion. The film simmers along deftly, meditations on love, grief and anger are skilfully portrayed by all involved. Even a birthing tunnel metaphor doesn't come off as self indulgent, from the off Glazer wants and gets those interested in the story to buy into the hypnotic qualities on show. To jump on board with Anna's fragility while all around her battle for rhyme or reason with her mindset.

In truth it's a hard sell as a piece of entertainment, there's still today, over a decade since it was released, people miffed that the hinted at supernatural elements are not key to the narrative. While the thin line of good and bad taste - and maybe even pretentiousness - is being tested by the makers, but the charges of Birth being dull are just wrong. It never shows its hand, the mystery always remains strong, while Kidman and Lauren Bacall are reason enough to admire the acting craft on show.

Hated by many, inducing even anger in some quarters, Birth is a tantalising picture. A conundrum designed to get a response, for better or worse. 8/10
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