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54 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mood is everything in this slight, yet wonderful film.
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...
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Birth
What an unusual film! A strange plot that doesn't really go anywhere. It has quite a disturbing plot and it is difficult to understand why Nicole Kidman's character gets so involved with the boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband. Surely she wouldn't have been so taken in? A little too unbelievable for me!
Published on 31 Oct 2005 by grace ryder


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mood is everything in this slight, yet wonderful film., 2 Feb 2009
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching for Kidman Alone!, 31 Oct 2007
By 
Paul Maccabe - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
This film is more about human emotions [externally+internal] than anything else! If you can't appreciate an actors performance without them doing some action scene or over the top emotional wreck scene then you won't understand this film! Nicole Kidman's scene while she sits in the cinema is just - well no words describe - you have to watch for yourself!
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harshly underrated, 24 Nov 2006
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars bleakly beautiful, 4 Aug 2009
By 
G. Stevens "filmfiend" (london, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brave film to make, 5 Feb 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 20 Jan 2012
By 
Aaron K. Wilkins "<3halloween'n'xmas" (okehampton, devon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
Why are people still so closed off in mind, from talking abut challenging concepts and imagery in our modern experience? I find it amazing how many people are giving this film one star seemingly based on "disturbing scenes".
Personally speaking, i find this film incredibly thought provoking, life affirming and, above all, moving. Appearances are deceptive here, take the fact that Anna, despite the passing of time since her husband's death- in which she has found a new love, she still harbors a longing for the return of that love which was ripped out of her world. This of course is centrally linked to the young boy, apparently the "Re-incarnated" form of her husband- again the literal appearance of the boy is rather the antithesis to what he is revealed to be later on (through the narrative/ what he knows about Anna, and her previous "life" with her dead husband). What follows is her infatuation with discovering the truth behind the mystical presence which this young soul exudes- including a very bizarre but at the same time fascinating scene in which, so captivated is she with the nostalgia of her husband this boy presents, enters into a bathtub with him- both fully undressed!! Although i can see why some would recoil from this- i found it to be utterly convincing that this character IS so believing of the fact that this boy may be her husband that she is willing to do something so strange and abhorrent. In short- whether this boy IS her dead husband or not is not really the point- this film is a subtle and haunting examination of the human soul and humanity, it conveys the devastating effect when you lose the one you love.
The central theme is explored through several mediums and characters- the birth of her new life after she loses her husband, the juxtaposition of adult and child and the mood of the film echoes notions of intense spiritual pain.
I would just like to also comment on the striking use of snow covered landscapes in this film which serves to mirror the feelings of isolation and bleakness that Anna feels when she contemplates that the young boy is telling the truth and all her loved ones promptly abandon her in disgust - also being white it seems to suggest that the colours wondering around above it in the form of people, cars, trees etc are almost like the stains of childbirth on bed linen, again this in turn familiarizes itself with the tragedy that like a messy birth- her husband's death has left her forever stained, messed up (for want of a better word) and fighting for her survival.

And not for one second do i think that my review has done this fantastic film justice!!
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87 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is My First Review - By Me, only Me!, 6 April 2005
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
Criticised last year in the U.S because of its sensitive nature, Birth is a tender, intense and sometimes gripping drama from director Jonathon Glazer.It tells the story of anna(kidman) who, ten years after her husbands death, is about to remarry (huston) but has a chance meeting with a ten year old boy who claims is her husband re-incarnate-at first anna shrugs off the statement as proposterous , but as the woman and boy become close, anna starts to doubt herself and her own beliefs. Birth is a subtle and convincing tale of a woman still grieving after 10 years and the film itself has some moments that perfectly capture the fragility of human emotion-superbly performed by the three leads and supporting cast of anne heche and lauren bacall,with an inspired score by alexandre desplat and truly gorgeous visuals filmed in and around new york, Birth is a genuinely engaging and beautiful film entirely un-deserved of any claims of 'in-decent material' as one american journalist said.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Birth, 31 Oct 2005
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
What an unusual film! A strange plot that doesn't really go anywhere. It has quite a disturbing plot and it is difficult to understand why Nicole Kidman's character gets so involved with the boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband. Surely she wouldn't have been so taken in? A little too unbelievable for me!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comes From The Heart, 12 Oct 2006
By 
D. Kerr - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
This film was not made by a perfectionist but the storyline is unlike anything most of us have seen. It sounds silly and at moments YES it seems very ridiculous and quite unrealistic but ask yourself exactly what made a multi award winning, world famous actress decide to take on the part of an emotionally burnt widow? In interviews Nicole Kidman has stated that this was one of the most important roles to her and, in the long run, perhaps the most psychologically arduous in her career. She gives a wonderful performance.

The drama begins in a very artistic scene where we see a man (her husband) jogging in the snow until he falls to his death. Sean is then born. Reborn.

Several years later he visits Anna (Kidman) and does not leave her alone until she falls for him and her damaged emotions unravel to reveal her far from obscure pain. The film is quite disturbing; at one turning point Anna and Sean sit in a bath together, not talking or moving but at the same time their feelings rage on the screen.

There is a twist, a very clever one at that, one that you may not expect, leaving our pained characters where they may after all belong, in their own private darknesses, sufficated by the intertwinings of guilt, fear and undying love.

The performances by Kidman and Cameron Bright are beautiful and an essential part of this movie's individuality, their portrayal of human love and desperations are quite spectacular.

As I have already said, this film is not what some critics would call perfect, realistic or even believable but to become caught up in too much analysis would be an insult to this intelligent work.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars astonishing child, 10 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Birth [DVD] (DVD)
Birth is a highly disturbing film, with beautiful silences. The opening scene, of a man jogging through stunning black and white scenery, makes you feel you are right there with him, though his face is never seen, and the final moments of his run are so lonely and raw. The child who played Shaun had the most astonishing composure; his calm beauty was essential for the credibility of an ultimately ridiculous plot. Having said that, it held me the whole way through. It was one of those films where nobody SAID much and obvious questions were not asked but somehow you were drawn into their world. I won't forget this film for a long time.
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Birth [DVD]
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