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.