HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  Birth Never Let Go
Year: 2004
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall, Alison Elliott, Arliss Howard, Anne Heche, Peter Stormare, Ted Levine, Cara Seymour, Michael Desautels
Genre: Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago Sean, the husband of young wife Anna (Nicole Kidman), died while jogging in the park. Now, Anna is planning to remarry after much coaxing from her fiancé Joseph (Danny Huston), and they are holding a party in Anna's large apartment to announce the engagement. Downstairs in the lobby, two of their friends, Clara (Anne Heche) and her husband Clifford (Peter Stormare) have arrived, but Clara suddenly seems reluctant to go up to deliver their gift to Anna. She tells Clifford to go up alone while she finds a ribbon for the giftwrapping, but actually goes out to the park and buries the package under a tree...

Written by Jean-Claude Carriere, Milo Addica and the director Jonathan Glazer, Birth is a strange, eerie and dreamlike film that leaves a chill, and not simply because it is almost entirely set during wintertime. What makes it strange is the claim voiced by the ten-year-old son (Cameron Bright) of one of Anna's downstairs neighbours; what he says is that he is in actually Sean, that is, the reincarnation of the dead husband. There's no lying on a couch and being hypnotised into past life regression here, nobody claims to have been a sixteenth century milkmaid or King Nebuchadnezzar, Sean (as the boy is coincidentally called) really believes he is Anna's deceased spouse. Yet what has brought him to this revelation?

You don't find out until the end, but meanwhile there's the matter of Sean convincing Anna that he is who he says he is. At first everyone is sceptical, including Anna's family (Lauren Bacall waspishly plays her mother) and insist that Sean is upsetting Anna and that he stay away. Anna and Joseph take the child down to see his parents after he has shown up in Anna's home unannounced, but Sean refuses to never see her again. Just as Anna is leaving she catches sight of the boy collapsing to the ground, which, conveniently for the plot, persuades her that there is more to his story than a simple fantasy, and how does he know so much about her anyway?

Sean's knowledge of Anna's life, and her husband's life, is convincing enough for Anna to invite the boy to stay with her and this leads to some deliberately uncomfortable to watch sequences. As Anna grows to believe him, they share a bath and a tender kiss (although not while in the bath, I hasten to add), and a creepy romance develops between them. While it's patently absurd that the boy could ever satisfy a grown woman as a partner, the film never betrays a hint that its premise is ridiculous: everything is slowly and deliberately told, verging on the subdued so that the occasional outbursts of emotion, like when the frustrated Joseph gives Sean a thrashing, are startling. However, we have never been familiar with the original Sean, so have nothing to compare with the sombre personality of the new Sean.

The explanation, when it eventually arrives, makes you wonder how anyone could have taken the idea seriously. It's not an examination of reincarnation, but instead a meditation on grief and the inability of Anna to accept her husband's death, so any detour into the paranormal looks inappropriate. You may find yourself becoming as frustrated as Joseph at the blank-faced little boy (we never even see him smile until the very end) and the credulous Anna (Kidman is quietly nervy throughout). The whole plot hinges on whether she is still scarred by the loss of her husband, but the contrivances of the narrative are difficult to accept. With everyone restrained for much of the time, Birth needs a character give Anna a shake - her mother comes the closest - and realise how she's damaged, but as it stands it's like a cruel ploy on the behalf of the scriptwriters to prolong her mourning. Music by Alexandre Desplat.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5585 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jonathan Glazer  (1966 - )

Respected British director of music videos (notably for Radiohead) and advertising (notably for Guinness) who made his feature film debut with gangster movie Sexy Beast. He followed it with controversial reincarnation drama Birth and then ten years later finally got to adapt the sci-fi novel Under the Skin his way in a strange, muted work that divided audiences.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: