February 13, 2011
I found out about this movie only when Nicole Kidman received awards nominations for her performance. When I found out that its sad story is about a mother who lost her son, I felt I did not want to watch another one of these somber family dramas. However, today I had a little window of time, and this film was only an hour and a half long, so I finally relented and gave it a chance.
"Rabbit Hole" tells about how a modern young couple, Becca and Howie, was dealing with the death of their very young son, about eight months after the boy got accidentally run over by a car. The drama intensifies as Becca's immature younger sister gets pregnant and healing wounds are disturbed again. What's more, Becca strikes an awkward "friendship" with the teenager who drove the car that killed her son.
Nicole Kidman is getting all the acting notices as Becca. Not meaning to put her down, Nicole was very good, but I felt that this performance was already very familiar. I felt that Aaron Eckhart did even better to essay his role as the bereaved father Howie. I think there is a bigger challenge for a male to connect and project the proper emotion in stories like this, and Eckhart delivers. I do not know how she does it, but Ms. Dianne Wiest never fails to exude warmth in her roles. Here she plays Becca's mom who also lost a son, albeit already 30 year old. She is luminescent in her few scenes, best of which was the one in the bowling alley and another one in the basement.
To its credit, the screenplay was compelling despite the subject matter. The gamut of emotions as could be expected from a situation like this were all there, from grief and anger, to frustration and cynicism. There were some moments of humor in it as well to lighten the mood a bit, especially scenes with Sandra Oh as a woman already eight years in group therapy. Contrary to my initial impressions, it did not feel boring at all. But again, the sad depressing topic may not really make it so popular for the general public.