Ten years after her husband Sean’s death, Anna (Nicole Kidman) – who still hasn’t fully recovered from the loss – is preparing to remarry when a creepy, expressionless ten-year-old (Cameron Bright) appears on her doorstep claiming to be Sean. Anna is initially skeptical, but after mulling the idea over, she concludes that the kid (whose name is Sean, and who knows intimate details about her life), must be telling the truth, and thus decides to throw away her Manhattan life of wealth and privilege to be with the prepubescent boy. Sound reasonable? Of course not, and in the hands of Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) – who channels Stanely Kubrick in virtually every one of Birth’s measured zooms, close-ups and medium-shots – such nonsensical behavior comes across as infuriatingly idiotic. Anna’s infatuation with Sean is meant to be a touching portrait of enduring love, yet her decision to have the kid sleep over, join her in the bathtub, and sensually kiss her are clear signs of mentally instability. She’s a lunatic who can’t see that Sean is pulling a fast one – a fact made obvious by his childlike conduct (if he were really a reincarnated adult, he would act like a grown-up) and his robotic lack of emotion (wouldn’t her husband seem, you know, happy to see her?) – and thus the film’s meditation on faithfulness, obsession, and desire is frustratingly stillborn. Kidman brings a distraught vulnerability to the wholly unbelievable Anna, but the absurd Birth is a project that should have been aborted.