Birth (2004)

Directed by Jonathan Glazer

It took Anna 10 years to recover from the death of her husband, Sean, but now she's on the verge of marrying her boyfriend, Joseph, and finally moving on. However, on the night of her engagement party, a young boy named Sean turns up, saying he is her dead husband reincarnated. At first she ignores the child, but his knowledge of her former husband's life is uncanny, leading her to believe that he might be telling the truth.

The spanking scene from Barry Lyndon, the casting of Kidman from Eyes Wide Shut, the ball bouncing from The Shining, the baby from 2001: A Space Odyssey... I would have thought I would always prefer to see nods to Kubrick over Yet Another Hitchcock or Tarantino homage, but now I'm not quite sure.


It’s thanks to Kidman that one of the most astounding movie moments of 2004 occurs in what is otherwise one of the year’s worst films: an expertly shifting play of emotions, from doubt to epiphany, that Kidman’s Anna beautifully conveys across a lingering close-up, in a scene set in a concert hall.

Jay Antani (Slant Magazine)