Published on December 25th, 2010 | by Greg0
Into The Rabbit Hole
Nicole Kidman delivers another stellar performance in Rabbit Hole, directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Itch). Rabbit Hole is a sad, affecting movie punctuated with moments of laughter and levity. Its actors deliver powerful, emotionally charged performances.
This drama centers around married couple Becca (Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart), and their attempts to deal with the tragic loss of their four-year-old son, who was killed by a car 8 months earlier when chasing after his dog into the street. While Becca prefers to erase painful memories â€“ by selling the house and the dog and wiping away her son’s fingerprints â€“ Howie finds solace in reminders of his son and comfort in attending church meetings. It is at these meetings that he becomes close with Gabby (Sandra Oh), and flirts with starting an affair with her.
The couple walks on eggshells with one another until, eventually and inevitably, a memory of their son cause them to explode into a vicious argument. In one argument, Howie accuses Becca of intentionally erasing his favorite video of their son off his smart phone when she attempts to use it, illustrating their different approaches to handling grief. While this scene was powerful, I felt that Eckhart was overacting slightly.
Becca slowly befriends Jason (played by the haunting Miles Teller in his first feature film), the teenage boy who killed their son, by meeting with him in park without her husband’s knowledge. These meetings were some of my favorite scenes from the movie. The dialogue was thoughtful and considerate, the scenery was beautiful, and Teller was mesmerizing. However, I couldn’t help but feel that Jason’s dialogue at times was a little too mature for a 12th grader (at the end of their first talk, Jason asks Becca calmly, â€œcan we do this again some time?â€).
There were moments of laughter â€“ the funniest scene occurs when Howie and Gabby smoke pot in the church parking lot and subsequently are unable to hold in their laughter at their meeting. With shoulders quivering from suppressed giggles, Howie eventually has to run out of the room while another member talks about his rage control issues and illness.
Another aspect of the movie involves the efforts of Becca’s immediate family to help her in her grief: the silly, sympathetic mother (Dianne Wiest) who tries to make Becca laugh and throws some comedic relief into the movie, and the interesting, competitive relationship between Becca and her sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard), who at one point accuses Becca of believing she is not deserving of being pregnant.
Written for the screen by David Lindsay-Abaire, who wrote the original play, the movie ends like so many plays do, which is to say with no real conclusion. Like many plays, the movie focuses on emotional performances. Overall, this movie made me sad, although the acting performances were riveting. Despite not having any children myself, my heart ached for the loss of losing one’s child. Viewers should watch Rabbit Hole to witness its actors’ strong and emotional performances.