What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes sexual references, including adultery, and an explicit (and completely gratuitous) sexual situation as well as situations that come close to sexual abuse of a minor. A young boy takes a bath with an adult woman and later they kiss. Characters drink and smoke and use some strong language. The only minority cast member plays a somewhat stereotyped family retainer. The themes may be very disturbing to some audience members.
What's the story?
BIRTH centers on Anna (Nicole Kidman), a widow who's preparing to marry her fiancc Joseph, until she meets 10-year-old Sean (Cameron Bright). At the couple's engagement party, Sean tells Anna that he's the reincarnation of her late husband. At first, Anna dismisses Sean's proclamation, believing him to be a disturbed kid with a crush on her. But when Sean keeps revealing moments in Anna's life, she begins to wonder if he's telling the truth, and her life begins to unravel.
Is it any good?
Birth's premise is enticing, but more attention given is given to elegant decors than to the film's underlying theories. Has Sean returned to prevent Anna from marrying someone who is hiding his true nature? Was Sean less than the devoted husband Anna wants to remember? Is this just a disturbed boy, obsessed with a beautiful woman? Any of these could have been the basis for a good movie, but the film just hints in those directions and then doubles back.
Meanwhile, the film gets creepy in ways it apparently does not intend, such as when Anna tries to shock Sean out of his delusion by asking him how he intends to satisfy her sexually. And the last fifteen minutes make no sense whatsoever. In the midst of all this mess, there are some lovely performances, especially Alison Elliot as Anna's pregnant sister, Arliss Howard as her husband, and Ted Levine and Cara Seymour as Sean's parents. All create real characters in their brief screen time.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about their own views on life after death. What would they like to hear from those they have lost? What should we say now to those who are still here?