Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rabbit Hole

Starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as Becca and Howie, this is a story of a couple struggling to cope with the aftermath eight months after their four year old son's death. Becca is closed off and unable to express her feelings, Howie is more open and feels the pain of loss differently which causes conflict along the way. Becca also has to deal with her mixed feelings at the news that her irresponsible sister is pregnant, and her Mother Nat's (Dianne Wiest) constant comparisons to her situation and the loss of her son, Becca's brother to a drug overdose. Howie chooses to find solace in group therapy meetings, friendship with another woman, and surrounding himself with his son Danny's memories. Becca's pain is eased by bonding with the teenage driver of the car that killed her son. This heartbroken couple slowly try and find their way back to each other, and in doing so make some surprising choices along the way. If this sounds a bleak movie, well, it is really. Anyone who has ever loved a child will find some of the scenes unbearable. There is some humour, and it's extremely touching and well crafted, probably due in no small part to the fact that the film is based on a play. Regular readers of my blog will know by now that Nicole Kidman is highly overrated in my view. I have to give credit where it's due though, she's not bad in this. She is playing to type, the unexpressive ice queen, but it's certainly one of her better performances. Aaron Eckhart is great as usual. He brings great warmth and pathos to his role of the devastated and frustrated Howie. Dianne Weist is superb, as the slightly irritating, scatty Mum, who really does understand what's going on. Sandra Oh makes an appearance too as a professional grieving Mother who befriends Howie. Some of the scenes and acting are a little stilted, it's a bit like watching a play at times, which is inevitable usually when plays have been re-scripted to movies. This is a film worth watching, if you can bear it. RABBIT HOLE: Makes you want to scurry off and bury yourself in a burrow, except with the comfort of chocolate rather than carrots. 7/10.

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