I hate Nicole Kidman. I really have a lot of trouble watching her on screen. As a result, I was really apprehensive before starting this one. However when you turn over the cover of the jacket you see John Cameron Mitchell’s name in the directors place. I don’t expect you to know who he is, but his two previous features were amazing pictures about sexual awaking (one about transsexual culture and one about a whole variety of different types of commitments). Both of those films were very different from this one. While his previous efforts were expressive loud and very good (they both landed with x ratings) this film was restrained beautifully and absolutely brilliant.
The story is about a family, husband (Aaron Eckhart) and wife (Nicole Kidman), that have to deal with the emotional consequences of losing their 4 years old child. In order to free themselves they have to accept the past and move on and also to regain their trust in themselves and recommit to their marriage. The movie is getting real honest approaching the human’s allowance to forgiveness when the confrontation between the “broken” family and the one responsible for that finally has place.
Surprisingly, this is not an overly depressing film, even for parents who might not want to watch it simply by dint of its subject matter.There are odd moments of some humor, albeit dark at times, there is a scene at a support group that gave me one of those awkward should I laugh moments. It’s not especially triumphant, either, in a blaring, trumpets to the sky way. But there is a quieter victory hinted at in the simple fact of two people who finally do connect when they touch.
Nicole Kidman as the simple Becca, offers one of her best performances in a long time. I just looked over the movies she has done and realized my initial thought was moronic. It’s a simply astounding, honest and passionate performance. Aaron Eckart does not get over-shadowed by Kidman’s performance and proves once again that by portraying Becca’s husband, Howie, his acting capabilities exceed our expectations. There are also notable performances by Dianne Wiest as Becca’s mother and Miles Teller as the one responsible for the suffered loss. Cameron’s direction is really the biggest surprise. He does the exact opposite of his previous films here, it’s not in your face like his work usually is. The color pallet is muted and everything is nuance, Kubrick would be happy.
Overall, this was on of the best releases of the past year. I dreaded having to watch Rabbit Hole. Imagine my surprise, then, at watching a film that doesn’t wallow in sorrow or pathos, and in fact delivers a couple of hearty laughs along the way. Kidman is simply fantastic in this role, and she’s matched every step of the way by the stellar supporting cast. The film is unexpectedly artfully directed by John Cameron Mitchell, and, though dealing with a relatively smaller scale, Rabbit Hole hits some very big emotional moments flawlessly. Highly recommended.
Rabbit Hole is available for purchase on Amazon.com and other retailers.
5 support groups out of 5
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.