Birth (Glazer, 2004)
This review contains spoilers.
With Birth, it’s obvious Glazer is trying to make a poetic, ‘artsy’ study of the feminine psyche while, at the same time, dabbling in the mainstream. Unfortunately, the mix doesn’t really work. The film’s first half is great. Several long, poetic takes, and an extremely interesting premise really had me thinking this was more up my alley than any preview had led me to believe. Kidman’s performance is also great, especially during a scene at an opera house when she truly starts to believe the boy is her reincarnated husband. The camera lingers on her face for several minutes as she is obviously completely lost in her thoughts and emotions. Kidman’s facial expressions are subtle, but still telling.
The film takes a quick turn for the worse towards the end when we discover the boy had read old loves letters and started believing he actually was the husband. Huh? Ridiculous beyond words. Seriously, this should have been kept completely ambiguous. The revelation opened up so many plot holes and laughable plot points, it nearly ruined the entire experience. But I can’t deny that Glazer did some great things throughout the film, so overall I did think this was above average. 7/10