5.7/10
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Birthmarked (2018)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
Two scientists raise 3 children contrarily to their genetic tendencies to prove the ultimate power of nurture over nature.

Writers:

Marc Tulin, Marc Tulin (story) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Goode ... Ben
Toni Collette ... Catherine
Andreas Apergis ... Samsonov
Jordan Poole ... Luke
Megan O'Kelly ... Maya
Anton Gillis-Adelman ... Maurice
Michael Smiley ... Gertz
Fionnula Flanagan ... Mrs. Tridek
Suzanne Clément ... Dr. Julie Bouchard
Vincent Hoss-Desmarais ... Henry Morin
Tyrone Benskin ... Dr. Metcalfe
Brent Skagford ... Teacher Duggins
Cat Lemieux ... Female Scientist #1
Owen Bruemmer ... Ben 12 years old
Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais ... Male Scientist #2
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Storyline

In 1977, two respected scientists, Ben Morin and his wife Catherine quit their jobs at the university to conduct an experiment they think will revolutionize our understanding of human identity. The project aims to raise three children contrarily to their genetic predispositions to prove the ultimate power of nurture over nature. They want to prove that everyone has the same potential to become anything. Maya, a newborn girl adopted from two feebleminded parents, is raised to be smart, while Maurice, a newborn boy adopted from two anger-prone parents, is raised to be a pacifist. Finally, their own biological son Luke, who comes from a long lineage of scientific brains, is raised to become a revered artist. The experiment will reveal little scientific truth, but rather lead Ben and Catherine to discover the true value of family. Written by Marc Tulin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two scientists raise 3 children contrarily to their genetic See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birthmarked See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Item 7, Parallel See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Crucify Your Mind
Written by Rodriguez (as Sixto Rodriguez)
Performed by Rodriguez
Published by Sony Music
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User Reviews

 
nature vs nurture
30 March 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Billed as a comedy, the movie will leave most viewers wondering wherefore art the laughs. Filmmaker Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais and his co-writer Marc Tulin aim high with a grown-up level look at the trials and tribulations of parenting - complicated here by a science experiment gone awry.

Matthew Goode plays Ben, the son of a long line of renowned scientists, and Toni Collette plays Catherine, the daughter of two noted physicists. The two nerds (a term of admiration) meet in graduate school, fall in love, and hatch a plan to conduct a revolutionary sociological scientific experiment. In 1977 they convince an arrogant and glory-seeking rich guy named Gertz (Michael Smiley) to fund an experiment with a premise that boils down to their intention of settling the nature vs. nurture debate once and for all.

Ben and Catherine plan to take their biological son Luke and turn him into an artist, while at the same time raising two adopted kids contrary to their genetic heritage. Maya, born into a family of "nitwits" will be raised as a Brainiac, while Maurice, born into a violent household, will be developed as a pacifist. It's an interesting set-up that also includes Russian athlete Samsonov (Andreas Apergis) as their live-in caregiver/nanny, and Mrs. Tridek (Fionnula Flanagan) as Gertz's well-meaning assistant.

The story jumps ahead to 1989 when Gertz arrives for the 12 year check-up and evaluation. When he deems the children to be "average", Ben and Catherine are devastated. Gertz threatens them with bankruptcy if the experiment isn't successfully expedited so he can publish the desired results. Mrs. Tridek also functions as the narrator who fills in the gaps with some details that might ordinarily leave us a bit confused.

Predictability rears its ugly head in the final act, and the film slips into more traditional cinematic story-telling and characterizations. Emotions and greed are the natural responses to the deception that has occurred, and while the adults leave us disappointed, it's at this point where the story finally shifts to the kids and we get to see the winner in the nature vs. nurture battle. Where the film works best is in its look at just how powerful and overwhelming parenting can be, regardless of the brain power and intentions one brings to the situation. Toss in some greed and the power of biology, and the final analysis can't be shocking, even if the film itself doesn't quite live up to its premise.


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