Becca and Howie Corbett are returning to their everyday existence in the wake of a shocking, sudden loss. Just eight months ago, they were a happy suburban family with everything they wanted. Now, they are caught in a maze of memory, longing, guilt, recrimination, sarcasm and tightly controlled rage from which they cannot escape. While Becca finds pain in the familiar, Howie finds comfort. The shifts come in abrupt, unforeseen moments. Becca hesitantly opens up to her opinionated, loving mother and secretly reaches out to the teenager involved in the accident that changed everything; while Howie lashes out and imagines solace with another woman. Yet, as off track as they are, the couple keeps trying to find their way back to a life that still holds the potential for beauty, laughter and happiness. The resulting journey is an intimate glimpse into two people learning to re-engage with each other and a world that has been tilted off its axis. (Lionsgate)
- Director: John Cameron Mitchell
- Genre(s): Drama
- More Details and Credits »
60A tragedy devastating to experience can feel generic when transferred to the screen, and that, despite everyone's best intentions and an outstanding performance by Nicole Kidman, is what happens with Rabbit Hole.
10'Rabbit Hole' is a modern day drama about how people cope with death. In particular, this film is about how two well-adjusted parents deal with the untimely death of their son. Uplifting, I know. That may sound like an unenjoyable premise, but 'Rabbit Hole' delivers a subtle but delightful punch that will leave you smiling. This movie, based on David Lindsay-Abaire's play, is absolutely worth seeing.
From the get go we learn that the stakes are high. The main characters, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart), are unable to deal with the loss of their son. At a support group of similarly suffering parents we see that, as one may expect, everyone's state of mind and well being is constantly in flux. Even more, the very relationships holding these couples together is tearing at the seams. The mood is subtle and sad, but interspersed with melancholy snapshots of everyday life. I cared about these people because they are unique, they have incredible challenges to overcome, and they have imperfections they must deal with.
As the story unfolds we witness Becca and Howie's fruitless attempts to cope with the grief while slowly glimpsing the details of their son's death. Becca's family is supportive, however that doesn't prevent a number of confrontations when the topic of the accident comes up. Her mother (Dianne Wiest), wants nothing but to help but only ends up provoking Becca. These tension relieving arguments are both painful and believable. While Becca and Howie seek out their own individual outlets to get over their loss, they remain loosely coupled in what appears to be a now loveless marriage. It is what they find on their own that ultimately results in a wonderful final scene that is captivating, sad, and uplifting all at once.
I laughed at some of the atheistic remarks that Becca makes, most of which were biting and inappropriate. It closely mirrors my internal though process, words which I think but would never say. But Becca has no reason to hold things back. She's dealing with the death of her only son. This results in Becca putting those around her in unfair and difficult situations.
I also really enjoyed one of the group therapy scenes. Howie and another mother Gaby (Sandrah Oh) decide to get high in the parking lot before the meeting. The two stoned sufferers then laugh inappropriately when a couple talks about the death of their daughter. It was absolutely inappropriate, but their marijuana induced haze let them rise above the anguish of their children's deaths despite suffering that very same experience.
Nicole Kidman really shines in this movie. She has several awkward moments that are pitch perfect and entirely realistic. It's easy to identify with this character as we've all had such clumsy social encounters, however hers occur much more frequently as the result of the constant dwelling on the death of her son. Aaron Eckhart and Dianne West also shine in their performances, although Eckhart could at times be accused of being too subdued. West is rumored to be in the running for Supporting nominees. However, Miles Teller, a fairly unknown young actor who portrays Jason, the driver of the car in the accident, is perfectly cast. He's genuine and reserved and is completely captivating. His self made comic book, an artistic outlet to escape the death he caused, gives the movie it's namesake. It is the often unplanned meetings in which Jason and Becca speak about their shared misery that are the highlights of 'Rabbit Hole'.
As I hinted at earlier, 'Rabbit Hole' is very well written. The music accompanies the mood perfectly, primarily featuring a piano that slowly creeps in and out. And although it is very well shot, cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco takes no artistic risks beyond capturing the story on screen. I'm really happy to see director John Cameron Mitchell take a step back from his otherwise risquÃ© films. If this is the sort of drama he is capable of directing then I am excited to see what he'll do next.
I think this movie may never reach a critical audience because of its somber subject. That's unfortunate, because this sort of writing, acting, and story deserves to be both told and seen. 'Rabbit Hole' is truly unique in that it focuses squarely on people overcoming sadness and coping with pain in a very realistic human way. It tackles this somber subject with a refreshing sense of grace, humor, and relief.… Expand
8"Rabbit Hole" is definitely of the the best films I've recently seen. The cast is just superb, led by the mesmerisingly good Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. The supporting roles are extremely strong as well, making it a all-around "actor's film." Kidman, Eckhart and Wiest definitely deserve all the praise they have been getting for the film, especially Kidman, who is as bar as she last was in "Birth" in 2004.
The screenplay is so well written that it does not drag one down the rabbit hole, but it makes one understand it, feel it to an extent and feel for the characters (and with them). However, it does not drag one down into depression, but it shows hope in realising and accepting grief the way one has to do it - and hopefully grow through it.
Excellent acting, excellent directing, as well as screenplay and the original score - Rabbit Hole is simply a must see!… Expand
That Mitchell could have taken a very affecting (and effective) , Pulitzer-prize winning play and made it into such a bland, unaffecting, loosely structured movie is a real pity. (Even someone I know who lost a child and went through the grieving process portrayed in the movie described it as "boring.") This is clearly one of those cases in which remaining faithful to the original source would have been preferable. That Mitchell didn't go the usual Hollywood soap opera route is pretty much damning by faint praise. That he could have taken such fine actresses as Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest and directed them in such uninspired performances is also regrettable. (That Sandra Oh and the dog (no offense to Sandra) gave the best performances in the movie is a commentary on both the movie and on the silliness of Oh's character on Gray's Anatomy.). Finally, that the 20-year old film Ordinary People was so much better than this one is, I guess, a tribute to Robert Redford (among other things).… Expand