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Anna is a young widow who is finally getting on with her life after the death of her husband, Sean. Now engaged to be married, Anna meets a ten year-old boy who tells her he is Sean reincarnated. Though his story is both unsettling and absurd, Anna can't get the boy out of her mind. And much to the concern of her fiancée, her increased contact with him leads her to question the choices she has made in her life.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Roger EbertFull Review Very Good 'Birth' is less sensational and more ominous, and also more intriguing because instead of going for quick thrills, it explores what might really happen if a 10-year-old turned up and said what Sean says. Because it is about adults who act like adults, who are skeptical and wary, it's all the creepier, especially since Cameron Bright is so effective as the uninflected and non-cute Sean. Like M. Night Shyamalan's best work, 'Birth' works less with action than with implication.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
I guess moviegoers smelled a stinker and stayed from "Birth," because we were only able to collect 14 moviegoer opinions from several showing. This movie received some of the worst opinions I've ever seen, especially for a movie with quite a few major actors. We certainly like to have lots more opinions to base our recommendation on, but with so many of these 14 indicating that it's terrible I can comfortably say DON'T SEE "BIRTH"!!! It's not even worth a rental unless you have a lot of time to kill. One of our opinion collectors said that many walked out of the showing she was in telling her it was a terrible movie and refusing to even fill out a questionnaire. Now that's BAD.
Ten years after the sudden death of her beloved husband Sean, Anna (Nicole Kidman) is finally
ready to emerge from the shadow of grief and begin a new chapter in her life. She has agreed
to marry Joseph (Danny Huston), a good-humored, cultured man who has patiently courted the
lovely young widow for three years. Anna's decision pleases her mother Eleanor (Lauren
Bacall), an elegant and commanding woman who has welcomed Joseph into the family's
spacious apartment on New York's aristocratic Upper East Side. The apartment has been Anna's
home since Sean's death, and it is also the present residence of her pregnant sister Laura
(Alison Elliot) and Laura's husband Bob (Arliss Howard), who are having their own home
remodeled. And it is there that friends and relatives gather one night for Anna and Joseph's
Those guests include Clifford (Peter Stormare), who was Sean's best friend, and Clifford's wife
Clara (Anne Heche). The couple is not entirely at ease in these privileged environs; as the
elevator arrives, Clara decides their gift is not properly wrapped and sends Clifford up to the
party alone. As Clara pauses in the building's marble lobby to ponder her options, her gaze
lights on a young boy (Cameron Bright), sitting by himself in an anteroom. Clara soon leaves
the building for Central Park, unaware that the boy is following her. When she returns to the
apartment building a while later, the boy is back in his place.
Following close on the heels of the engagement party is Eleanor's birthday celebration, an
intimate event attended by close family friend Mrs. Hill (Zoe Caldwell). But before the cake
can be cut, an uninvited guest appears as if out of nowhere. It is the same young boy, and he
wants to speak privately with Anna. Indulging what seems to be a whim, Anna accompanies the
child to the kitchen. There, he declares that he is her dead husband Sean and warns her not to
marry Joseph. A stunned and angry Anna takes the boy downstairs, instructing Jimmy the
doorman (Milo Addica) to send him home. Jimmy confirms that he knows the child. His name
Sean's surreal intrusion on Anna's life is met with varying reactions in Anna's family. At the
boy's own suggestion, Bob quizzes him about details of the dead Sean's life, and the child's
knowledge is uncanny. More unnerving still is the intensity and certainty of his love for Anna.
Mrs. Conte (Cara Seymour), who is estranged from Sean's father, allows the boy to see Anna, in
the hope that he can be persuaded to abandon his belief that he is her husband.
Instead, it is Anna's belief that is strengthened. Though she cannot deny the strangeness of it
all, she is increasingly drawn to the little boy and willing to flout the wishes of her fiancé and
family to see him. Could this child truly be Anna's husband, returned to her? How can she
refuse the chance to experience again the love she felt for him?