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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Rabbit Hole (2010)


I honestly don’t think I can make any silly pun with this movie.

Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) grapple with the realities of life eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son, Danny. Even with Becca’s well-meaning mother (Dianne Wiest) offering comfort and weekly group therapy always available, the couple go about their own secret ways of coping.

The film is directed by John Cameron Mitchell, who has had two efforts in the past (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus). Those two are completely different from this, and that’s why I like it so much more.

The screenplay is what really works here so well. There is a lot of true and honest insight into the world of grief, and suffering which all rings true. I’m not a parent, but I still know what it’s like to have grief over something, and this film portrays that so well. You don’t blame yourself, but you more or less, blame the people that are trying to help you, and you just can’t help it. By watching this film, you see how hard it is to be normal again after something so devastating has just happened to you.

Cameron Mitchell is a fine choice for this film because although he doesn’t do much with this story that we aren’t expecting, he does let it speak for itself, and give us some emotionally raw scenes. This is some of the most upsetting, and sad material I have seen in a film in quite some time, but somehow he lifts it up into something a little more brighter, and has us know who these people are inside and out.

The only problem with this film is that there are moments in this movie, where you sort of can’t really stand sitting through all this pain. It’s almost like the film Revolutionary Road, where the material you have to work with is just so sad, that it’s hard to actually enjoy yourself. The whole film is not like that, but there are moments in the film where I was sort of sad myself.

Nicole Kidman is absolutely terrific in this film. She captures the raw emotion that goes through a grieving mother, as she tries so hard to stay strong, and look positive, but deep down inside she’s hurting more than ever. Her performance is amazing and I’m so glad that she got an Oscar nomination for this, because she does deserve it. Aaron Eckhart is also very good here, and I think should have gotten some sort of nomination, because he is also another great element as well. He tries to keep his cool about it too, but I can’t help but shed a tear when he starts to talk about his son, and when he gets pissed I have to tell you, it was scary. These two work well together as a married couple who I don’t think once shared a kiss throughout the whole movie. We are constantly playing in our heads who’s acting bad about this all, but it goes back and forth so you can never really tell and I liked that. Dianne Wiest is terrific as always, giving off more heart in this film, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it. Sandra Oh is also a delight to have her also.

Consensus: The subject material may not always be the most happy material, but Rabbit Hole benefits from a terrific cast that delivers so well on this raw and honest story about the loss of a child.

9/10=Full Price!!

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20 responses to “Rabbit Hole (2010)

  1. 2dreviews February 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Full price? I’ve been debating this one for awhile because I dread it, but it seems like I must. You’ve convinced me

  2. Steven Flores February 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    While I prefer Mitchell’s previous films. I liked this one a lot. Even at how real it felt in the way people deal with grief. Even in my own experiences with the passing of my sister a couple of years ago. It didn’t over-dramatize the situation while I understood why it moved so slowly which I didn’t mind.

    I also liked the cast a lot. Particularly Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. The latter I think was robbed of an Oscar nomination. Excellent review as usual.

    • CMrok93 February 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks dude! This is some tough stuff to sit through, and I’m so sorry to hear about your sister, and everything. It must have been hard, but as this film shows, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. pdstories February 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for stopping by PDstories! Appreciate your input on my “Rabbit Hole” review. I enjoyed reading yours as well! I will be by to check out some of your other stuff in the future! Good writing!!

  4. amy February 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I think it was a lot more than just heartbreaking. The saddest part for me was how the relationship was falling apart, but the stages of grieving that Kidman and Eckhart’s characters go through here is what got me.

    Revolutionary Road, however, that is really really depressing. xD In my opinion, Winslet should’ve won for that one, instead of The Reader.

    • CMrok93 February 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      This film has got some truly heart-breaking scenes mainly thanks to Eckhart and Kidman. As for Revolutionary Road, it is very depressing, and Winslet should have definitely won for that instead.

      • Andrew Buckle February 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

        I agree with this. I thought Kate Winslet was better in RR. Rabbit Hole reminds me of Revolutionary Road a little bit, but this is certainly less depressing. As you say, Nicole Kidman is terrific. I thought the sequences with Sandra Oh and Aaron Eckhart were the weakest though. I much preferred Kidman’s scenes with Jason. Really surprised me how much I enjoyed watching this film, considering what the film covers. I was so glad we never saw anguished flashbacks to the event through nightmares or something. It was all dealing with the present. They couldn’t go on like they were forever. How were they going to address their immediate lives?

        Great review also, Dan!

  5. paolocase February 23, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I didn’t think that this movie was the most heart wrenching film of the past year, which makes it richer actually. Mitchell, et. al. went as far as they tastefully could to the opposite, finding the little smiles in the characters’ faces as they’re going through this rough time. Dianne Wiest’s character perfectly encapsulates at least the film’s version of mourning. Like a brick that she carries around with her that feels ‘Fine, actually.’ Losing someone, in a way, is like a memory that occasionally haunts yet reassures.

  6. Nostra February 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I like it if a movie is able to make you feel sad (or any other feeling) and Rabbit Hole was extremely well made. As a viewer you really feel for the couple even though you can’t begin to imagine how they must feel. The acting was very important to get that feeling across though and the performances were great.

  7. The Film Reel February 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I’m not sure I could ever get through this one. As soon as I heard it was about a couple dealing with the death of their son I couldn’t go any further. I imagine I would be a blubbering mess. This one will have to wait for that very specific day when the mood strikes me.

  8. Colin Harris February 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

    I thought it was just an mmmkay movie, but I admire its ideology of refusing to blame others. As the whole world continues to sue each other, such an attitude is to be appreciated.

  9. Fitz February 24, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Such a good Best Actor field this year. I don’t know who I would leave out.

  10. themovieblog8 August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    One of my favorites from last year.

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