373 user 174 critic

Birth (2004)

1:59 | Trailer
A young boy attempts to convince a woman that he is her dead husband reborn.


Jonathan Glazer
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kidman ... Anna
Cameron Bright ... Young Sean
Danny Huston ... Joseph
Lauren Bacall ... Eleanor
Alison Elliott ... Laura
Arliss Howard ... Bob
Michael Desautels Michael Desautels ... Sean
Anne Heche ... Clara
Peter Stormare ... Clifford
Ted Levine ... Mr. Conte
Cara Seymour ... Mrs. Conte
Joe M. Chalmers Joe M. Chalmers ... Sinclair
Novella Nelson ... Lee
Zoe Caldwell ... Mrs. Hill
Charles Goff Charles Goff ... Mr. Drummond


Anna is a young widow who is finally getting on with her life after the death of her husband, Sean. Now engaged to be married, Anna meets a ten-year-old boy who tells her he is Sean reincarnated. Though his story is both unsettling and absurd, Anna can't get the boy out of her mind. And much to the concern of her fiancé, her increased contact with him leads her to question the choices she has made in her life. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She wished her husband would come back from the dead. Now, he is back. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The type of cake served at Eleanor's birthday and which Sean has a left-over piece of is a Red Velvet Cake which is also known as a Waldorf Astoria Cake. See more »


In the second bath scene near the end of the movie, the amount of mud on Sean's face changes between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Voice of Sean: Ok, let me say this.
Voice of Sean: Let me say this. If I lost my wife and, and uh, the next day a little bird landed on my windowsill, looked me right in the eye, and in plain English said, 'Sean, it's me, Anna. I'm back' What could I say? I guess I'd believe her. Or I'd want to. I'd be stuck with a bird. But other than that, no. I'm a man of science. I just don't believe that mumbo-jumbo. Now, that's gonna have to be the last question. I need to go running before I head home.
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References Dragon Ball Z (1996) See more »


Happy Birthday
Written by Patty S. Hill & Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill)
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User Reviews

Disjointed reincarnation drama with a twist. (minor spoilers)
18 December 2005 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

'Birth' is a strange, and rather interesting supernatural thriller. Nicole Kidman is the well-to-do Anna, recently engaged to her fiancé, Joseph (Danny Huston). The plans for a seemingly happy marriage are suddened halted when a young boy (Cameron Bright) claiming to be Anna's reincarnated husband, who died ten years earlier, enters their lives and turns things sufficiently awkward. Coincidentally or not, her husband died at the very moment the child was born. The plot becomes one of uncomfortable trickery as the young boy tries to prove to Anna, who is more readily convinced that he is the reincarnated form of her husband with each test of his sincerity. But, the filmmakers are even working to dupe the audiences.

It is, no doubt, a considerably awkward story, such as some of the more intimate moments between Anna and the young boy, but still one of rather intriguing proportions. No matter how strange the situation continues to become, you are still left to endure the film further until you are fully sure of the outcome (although even then, it still ends with at least one loose end). One viewer had mentioned that one major flaw to this movie, however, was that the young boy has absolutely no personality, and therefore was more unbelievable as someone who is supposedly the reincarnation of a charming man (or whatever personality he may have had...we only actually see and hear the husband in the first few opening moments of the film). Indeed, while the young boy lacking any sort of responsive personality did seemingly contribution quite a lot to the strange atmosphere of the film, it was probably unnecessary, given the eventual outcome (of which I don't want to spoil too much).

I would consider a major flaw in this film not be the story of the characters itself, but in the pacing (although it is considerably illogic in an important way--the kid would have had to act fast--actually, a matter of minutes--with those letters to have known so much about all the people he claims to). There are numerous sequences which we are left staring at characters faces or people once in conversation sitting quietly in a room and either waiting for some dialog or for the editors to introduce the next scene. The 100 minute film could have easily been trimmed by thirty minutes or so, considering this (and this also includes at least three moments towards the latter half of the film when we are unsure whether the prolonged fade out will then bring us to the credits).

'Birth' is a very strange drama, indeed, though probably no worse or different than movies like 'Skipped Parts' or 'The Ballad of Jack & Rose' in the weird department. I will agree with another viewer who wrote that this film is very 'European.' Someone had claimed that the film was likely to have originated from French or Danish storytelling. However, this one is probably one worth trying, if not to at least see something different and highly offbeat (although that term might hint at something funky while this movie was just out and out awkward). If nothing else, the cast will be most likely to attract viewers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

29 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birth See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,282,000, 31 October 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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