Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole is a film directed by John Cameron Mitchell, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire. It tells the story of a married couple, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart), whose very young son was killed in a car accident. The film depicts the differing ways in which they try to deal with their shared grief, and how the differences threaten to tear their marriage apart.

Rabbit Hole tells a story that could easily have become maudlin. Instead, it challenges the commonly accepted notion that tragedy brings people together. It shows how tragic events can bring feelings of guilt, suspicion and jealousy that actually drive people apart. It also points out that there is no easy answer to the question of how and when one should “let go” of the past.

There are some moments in which the story comes dangerously close to melodrama, but Lindsay-Abaire’s script manages to remain rooted in the real world. (This film may not appeal to the sort of sophomore who thinks that The Kids Are All Right is great drama.) The acting is all very good. Nicole Kidman’s performance is searing in its honesty. (I now think that she should have won the Best Actress Oscar instead of Natalie Portman.) Dianne Wiest is subtly touching as Becca’s mother. Eckhart is convincing as Howie.

Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire have a done a skillful job of bringing this play to the screen. It feels like a real movie, rather than a filmed play.

I highly recommend seeing this film.

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