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Movie Review: Birth

Alternate Title: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Story: Anyone who has had a loved one die probably has toyed with the idea of reincarnation. Most of us get over it, or seek therapy.

The tony, well to do crowd in this film directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) are about to celebrate the engagement of Joseph and Anna. She has been grieving over the sudden death of her beloved first husband Sean for ten years and has finally decided to remarry the long suffering Joseph. Into their lives walks a ten year old boy who claims to be Sean, the dead husband.

The film meanders everywhere trying to define itself. Is it a thriller, is it a mystery or is it an metaphysical tome about life, death and the beyond? It turns out to be sunk by its pretentious weight and high fallutin' ideas.

The good news is that it is a beautifully filmed piece of art and Central Park never looked more inviting in winter and the score is a pleasure to the ear.

Should you see it? I suggest you spend your time and money on the here and now instead.

Acting: Nicole Kidman (while not on my list of favorites) is always good and she does not disappoint. The rest of the cast is also fine and it is grand to see Lauren Bacall anytime. Anne Heche is almost unrecognizable and Cameron Bright as the creepy kid is terrific.

Predilection: None - but I do like watching films that are filmed in NYC.

Critters: A cat and a few dogs.

Food: Birthday cake.

Visual Art: The apartment that this wealthy family lives in is breathtaking and the art is mighty fine.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Wonderful

Opening Titles: The opening sequence is visually stunning and was the best part of the film.

Theater Audience: A handful of hopefuls and us. Scenes fade to black several times towards the end of the film. I kept wondering if the film was over or not. Finally it fades to black and a guy behind us says 'SHIT." While not a Lobo review, it was a succinct commentary.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 3

Drift Range: I drifted only because I kept questioning the plausibility of what I was seeing and hearing.

Squirm Scale: 2 - There were a few scenes with the kid that were squirmy indeed. An adult woman taking a bath with a ten year old boy warrants a squirm or two.

Predictability Level: The ending stunk and by that time I had given up thinking this film would wrap up all of the loose ends.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Good grief, no.

Nit Picking: Too many nits to speak about.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. For some of other Kidman films that I enjoyed try renting: Cold Mountain, Dogville, The Hours, Moulin Rouge and To Die For.

Length: 100 Minutes.