(us) wrote: I've wanted to see this film for some time just because of how oddly intriguing the concept was but 'Birth' just ends up being odd. I didn't really understand the complaints at first with regards to the story, sure, it is strange but it's not like Anna was running after a 10 year old even though if someone overheard that conversation in the cafe, then sure; but as the film kept going on it did progressively weird. I know it has been stated they weren't in the same room when they were filming the bath scene but it felt creepy watching a 10 year old undress like that; sure it probably might have had to have been done that way to disguise the fact that they weren't in the same room, but come on, the other scenes were fine, just film him from over the shoulder or something. And then after all of that, she just tells him to get out, really? All that for pretty much nothing? I understand it was supposed to be provocative in some way but it still doesn't change how odd it was. The acting in this film is honestly, all over the place. I really don't like criticising too much for reasons I have previously stated in others reviews, like, there is no way I could do what they could do, especially with acting and so on but, like I said, it is all over the place. I like the actors, Danny Huston, Peter Stormare; who admittedly is only in a few scenes like usual and Nicole Kidman, who looks different in pretty much everything, I remember looking at the cover ages ago and didn't know it was her until I read the cast list. However, sometimes they mumble to the point where I can't understand anything, sometimes they say things so monotone, which is usually the fault of the secondary characters, but other times it is okay. Peter Stormare remains unscathed though, despite being in a few scenes, so, in turn, having less chance to mess up, he has never given a bad performance and that doesn't look like it's about to change, but Kidman was nominated for a Golden Globe, so what do I know? However, actors, no matter how good they are, can only do so much with what's given to them. And who is Lauran Bacall to call Nicole Kidman a beginner? At least she has an Oscar. Danny Huston's character seems like the only smart one ready to take action. Some characters just act strange as well, the mother doesn't say thank you when she is offered a drink but scolds her son for not saying please. I really didn't believe the eventual acceptance of Anna, the boy didn't really show any signs of believability or anything. Sure, he did know an awful lot about Anna and even though we know it's written in the script that he only knows after he's a seen a person's face who they are or what they did, it seemed flimsy. He didn't even smile; I thought at one point he could have when he was asked who he was but he just replied, 'I'm Sean', and could have smiled or something when he said that. It's left unknown, probably for this reason but I'd ask to at least hear the young Sean's surname to start believing he is who he says he is as that would have been more proof and maybe should have gotten right to the point when they first meet. He also seemed to throw Anna under the bus a lot, by telling secrets in that conversation that was recorded, it made sense that he had to tell some secret things but to tell them that Anna had sex on that sofa? Nice one. She also says at one point that she does not want to fall in love with Sean again, I think the real issue is that you don't want to fall in love with a child. When they are having that party at the start, from the way the music sounded, I kept expecting a classic lullaby to start playing and while that wouldn't make sense to be played at such an occasion, given the story that will soon happen, it would have fit, in a way. While this film has some very good editing at points, it also has some very bad editing, the likes of which it'll just focus on someone's face for a long time or at the start with someone running or when characters are eating and it'll have a little bit of nothing happening before they talk again and it just felt like 'My First Indie Movie'. It's not that I was bored, the opposite is true actually, the film went by very fast and was quite short but that style of editing really didn't seem to add anything. The look of this film is quite drab, while thematically it makes sense; it is quite dark to look at, even when turning the brightness all the way up. What was up with the soundtrack in this film? I liked the soundtrack by itself, but it really didn't seem to fit and part of it sounded like it belonged in 'Super-Man 64' and it just kept ringing in my ears after a while. The film has a rather ominous opening but the music fades in and makes it sound oddly upbeat; speaking of which, the film has a rather coincidental opening with that character talking about what he was. I did think a car would come crashing off of the bridge or something, though. Speaking of, I am glad that film didn't go to the cheap shock value horror clichs, for example, when the young Sean stays at Anna's home I just expected there to be a scene with him standing over her bed. Or later on when Anna walks in on the young Sean taking another bath, after running away from the useless police that just gave up looking for him and probably shouldn't have taken their eyes off of him, he hadn't drowned himself.The film seemed to outstay its welcome at around the 50 minute mark as the young Sean became increasingly annoying as it really didn't give us anything new to grab onto. Before long, however, the film got back on track by pulling the rug out, even if it didn't make much sense either. What would be the point of burying something like that where it'd be easy to find, sure, we wouldn't have our story otherwise, but it would make more sense to keep that at home and why would he follow her anyway? Even before that some things didn't make much sense, why would a 10 year old just go to the park numerous times by themselves? Where were the parents? I understand there is supposed to be more to this than meets the eye but whereas 'Under the Skin' was so obvious in its theme that it spells it out for you in the title, this film is the opposite. I understand that the film had deeper themes to it but the way it progressed and wraps up doesn't seem to allow any kind of interpretation at all; themes and symbolism have to fit in there in some way but because of how it is told, it ends up being just a weird story. It had the feeling of a straightforward film that would end up revealing that Anna was being conned. While I liked 'Under the Skin' more, although it did have me fidgeting quite a bit near the end, I will say this film had me solidly engaged, intrigued and focused on what was going on, it's such an odd story there's no way that you can't, really; although the ending seemed kind of weak, really? You're going to put her through all that and then leave? And those clothes are just going to be ruined as well. Also, wouldn't she be cold by never wearing any trousers? I do love a good film to challenge my brain and go against conventions but I don't really know what to make of this film and it seemed like the film didn't really know what to do either. It's provocative in the way that this premise naturally would be and, like I said, was intriguing, I was engaged to see where it would go like I think anyone would be but I just don't think it really did anything with what it had.