Icky, Icky, Icky

Nicole Kidman falls in love with a ten-year-old boy...sorry, her dead husband

But there's no getting around it: Birth offers the nuttiest apologia ever for pedophilia. If the sexes were reversed, it's doubtful the movie would even get a wide U.S. release; imagine the outcry if a filmmaker were to show a ten-year-old girl stripping off her clothes and climbing into a bath with a nude man in his late thirties. That scene, disturbing as it is even in context, is not reason to loathe the movie. What's troublesome is that the filmmakers want to have it both ways: They do everything to convince Anna and the audience this kid is Sean, and that it might indeed be OK to run off with a ten-year-old if you're in love, then cop out just before she's about to throw away her entire life. They simply let her off the hook by waving away the entire plot as though it were bothersome cigarette smoke. You're almost tempted to laugh at Birth by the end, but by then you're too busy cursing it to bother.

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