Birth 15

Films About Looking: Mark Cousins Sunday Brunches


Please note: This was screened in Oct 2017

Jonathan Glazer
Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Lauren Bacall
100 mins, 2004, USA

One of the great unsung masterpieces of the early 2000’s, Jonathan Glazer’s mysterious, haunting and utterly mesmerising portrait of the profound loss and emotional insecurity felt by a delicate young widow faced with the seeming reincarnation of her dead husband, lingers disquietly in all who have seen it like a haunting dream.

Ten years after the sudden death of her husband, Anna (Nicole Kidman, in a career best performance) is finally ready to emerge from the shadow of grief and marry Joseph (Danny Huston), who has patiently been courting her for three years. So, when a 10-year-old boy (Cameron Bright) appears unannounced at her engagement party claiming to be the reincarnation of her dead husband and warning her not to marry Joseph, Anna laughs. The boy though is serious. Could this child really be her former husband, returned to her? Despite the concern of friends, family and fiancé, Anna begins to develop an increasingly strong bond with the convincing child. And as gradually the occult idea begins to break down her sanity and security, she seems unable to refuse the chance to again experience the yearning she still feels for her previously lost love.

Inspired in both its conception and its execution, Glazer’s metaphysical love story masterfully explores that mysterious space between what we know and what we feel. A bold, brave and unique film that never goes where you expect it to go, this extraordinary work is an absolute must if you’ve yet to discover its unsettling power.