INTERACT » Fan Reviews » BIRTH, by Eoghan

I have just seen BIRTH and I can tell you that it features one of Nicole Kidman's best performance - so nuanced, believable and utterly relatable - that by the time her character Anna finally gives herself over to the notion that a 10 year-old boy really is the reincarnation of her dead husband, it is completely credible...she makes it possible to follow this character. The mood is set in the opening, with a long tracking shot of the adult Sean, jogging in central park to Alexandre Desplat's triumph of a film score.

It's a delicious mood - dark, brooding - yet compelling. The coming of this little boy into this upper-class family's life is intriguing and Danny Huston manages to make Joseph (Anna's fiancée) both charming and intelligent - yet selfish and impulsive at the same time - but Cameron Bright is the true revelation in this movie - he is given material that far outweighs anything present in the abomination that was GODSEND, delivering a deadpan performance - that is, appropriately - beyond his years.

If the movie ever falls short - it's when the motivation for some characters is unclear - but the film never loosens it's grip. As for the "controversial" scenes - they are a non-event - don't expect child nudity - the bath tub scene is handled sensitively and in a non-sexual way - it's obvious that Bright was never actually naked. More disturbing than the bath-tub scene is the sense that Anna could be driven to anything...but taken in the context of her unforgiving grief, again, utterly relatable.

Birth is not for everyone - it's a meditative movie with Kubrickian style - and some may find it too intense and ambiguous for their liking. However, no one can deny power of what I would describe as the best scene of the year - Anna...immersed in the the turmoil of her situation....waiting for the opera. One shot. Three minutes. 10 years of emotion.

FOUR STARS (out of 5)