Monday, May 30, 2005
In which V. sees a good film which leaves her feeling kind of dirty.

I saw this film Birth on Saturday. I'd really been looking forward to that one. I've always admired Nicole Kidman. I think she's a talented actress and a beautiful woman (although she's looking rather alarmingly botoxed lately, that's for sure).

In Birth she plays Anna, a woman who is widowed. Ten years after the death of her husband, she is all set to remarry. Then she meets a ten year old boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband. He still loves her. He does not want her to remarry.

When I described the plot of this to M., he thought it sounded like a horror film. But it's not like that, really. I mean, yeah, the kid is disturbing and the whole situation is a bit creepy. But the kid doesn't make threats or act menacing or anything. He doesn't lapse into any sort of "Danny doesn't live here any more, Mrs. Torrence" fugue state or anything.

He just keeps showing up, insisting that he's the reincarnation of this dead guy. Turns out he knows things. Things that only the dead guy would know. Gradually Anna grows to believe in him. He becomes an obsession and she behaves dangerously, erratically.

Thing is, as much as the kid mysteriously does know, there are things he doesn't know, either. Including a pretty big thing that I can't reveal. This is one of those films with an ambiguous ending. Some people get pissed off about those. Personally I thought it ended well, and I appreciate being able to make my own decisions about what went on. Was the kid for real or not? I have my ideas. You'll have yours.

Also: Anne Heche is in this. She plays a crazy person, I am not sure whether that counts as "acting" or not.

Birth is a great film. It's also a disturbing film. I felt slightly violated at the end, mainly because grief is perhaps the most intimate of emotions, and Birth digs deeply into that. We see Anna fall apart, and that's uncomfortable. Watching it was sort of like when you see people arguing in public... you're being made privy to something private, something you oughtn't see. Definitely a film worth watching.