Kidman plays Anna, a milquetoast whose husband Sean died from a heart attack a decade ago. Her new fiance (Danny Huston) has ardently courted her for years because, under that bad haircut, she still looks like Nicole Kidman. Their uninteresting relationship is jarred when a young boy ("Godsend's" Cameron Bright, whose old-soul eyes win him the Creepy Kid roles every time) shows up and declares that he's the reincarnation of Sean. Actually, he doesn't use the word "reincarnation"; in fact, he uses as few words as humanly possible. There's no effusive outpouring of emotion, nor recollections of memories to prove his identity. He just stares at Anna eerily and insists that she not remarry. Despite a complete lack of evidence, Anna begins to believe the boy. But even if it were true, Sean hardly seems to have the sort of personality worth traversing lifetimes or breaking corruption-of-a-minor laws for. And when a kooky acquaintance reveals her part in things, it all makes even less sense. "Birth" is entirely misconceived. Starring Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall and Anne Heche. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. Written by Jean-Claude Carriere, Milo Addica and Jonathan Glazer. Produced by Jean-Louis Piel, Nick Morris and Lizie Gower. A New Line release. Drama. Rated R for sexuality. Running time: 100 min
Every psychological drama needs a shocking twist, and the revelation here may just be that director/co-scripter Jonathan Glazer is from Mars. He seems to have no sense of how humans act, communicate, think or feel. And to make Nicole Kidman come off as an unappealing dimbulb has got to require powers of extraterrestrial origin.