By: Henry J. Fromage (2 Beers) –
There have been some films dealing with some tricky subjects this year, from The Kids Are All Right’s exploration of a sperm-donor’s first contact with his grown-up children and their mothers to Blue Valentine’s much less cheery no-holds-barred examination of a relationship dying.None of these subjects are nearly so tough, however, as that of Rabbit Hole.
Enjoy this picture.Refer back if you become too depressed.
The quandary is, just how do you get over losing a child?When do you return to normal?Is that even possible?The toast isn’t to this situation, of course, but to the humanity and profundity those associated with the production employ in the explanation of this issue.
The film is based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, who also penned the script for this film.The dialogue is smart and authentic, and avoids that scripted feel that too many adaptations of plays seem to have.The direction by John Cameron Mitchell is excellent, and some of the innovative shots he uses are brilliantly effective and understated.
Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman play the grieving parents.Both performances are great, and capture two very different methods of grieving.This causes quite a bit of friction, and the resultant sparks are played up to perfection by the actors.Kidman in particular is amazing, especially in the scenes with the teenager who ran over her son.Her recent Oscar nomination is well-deserved.
The only bone I have to pick is the relative shortness of the flick.It’s not often that a movie needs to be longer…
…but this is one that could have used more development.The supporting cast all turn in good performances, especially Miles Teller as the teenager and Sandra Oh as another grieving mother who provides a possible dalliance for Eckhart.They are effective foils for our main characters, but not at all well-rounded in their own right.They feel like human plot devices, and the film could really have been something special if it had explored them a little further.
Devastating performances and good direction make this more than your usual stage-play to movie transplant.Give it a watch.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: every time Kidman or Eckhart makes someone feel awkward
Take a drink: whenever a fight ends with someone storming out
Drink a shot: whenever Miles Teller says he’s sorry