Rabbit Hole (2010) (PG-13)

"Rabbit Hole" tells the story that so many other movies have tried to tell—how one family copes with the loss of a child. The films that cover this topic range from the ethereal "The Lovely Bones" to crime dramas "Mystic River" and everywhere in between. It's a very common drama setting though I don't think it's ever felt as sincere as it felt to me in "Rabbit Hole".
Becca and Howie are the couple whose four year old son was hit by a car eight months ago. I like that the movie opens with the incident in the past. You don't have the long weepy scenes by a graveyard or the shouting at the sky demanding to know why—WHY?—why was my son taken? Although I'll be the first to admit that I tear up even at the hint of those scenes, "Rabbit Hole" handled itself very well because of when it started.
Becca and Howie have come to grips with the fact that their son is gone and he's never coming back—not exactly the easiest thing to do when it's your flesh and blood you're categorizing.
They seek ways of comfort and solace, or more appropriately Howie seeks these things. Becca is completely content letting her grief work itself out in "natural" ways, whatever those may be.
At a grief meeting for parents who have lost their children Becca snaps at a weeping couple because she feels that empathizing with other people is useless. Maybe she feels that no one quite knows how she's feeling or maybe she is slowly slipping into apathy.
Her husband is ready to move on and yet when the time comes and Becca starts to get rid of their child's possessions he becomes irritable and hostile towards her.
"Rabbit Hole" isn't a pretty painting, and yet there is a beauty to its storytelling method.
It has been said that no subject should be left untouched in art and "Rabbit Hole" is the best film about loss of loved ones that I have yet to see. That being said, it's not perfect. There are some moments that feel forced and trite but we have yet to distance ourselves (in this generation, anyways) from the need for sentimentality.
How long can it take before the wound is healed? Will it be years or will it be there forever?
As the sun sets each subsequent day and the life around Becca and Howie goes on...there's nothing. Words cannot properly describe the feelings that they have and no words should because no one should have to go through that tragedy.
Nicole Kidman plays Becca and Aaron Eckhart plays Howie and for both of them, it's an outstanding performance. Kidman is the better of the pair but Eckhart doesn't fade into the background.
One particular scene that stood out to me was Becca getting dressed and heading out to the company she used to work for. She gets into her best dress suit and applies lipstick, does her hair, and heads out the door with a newfound confidence. As soon as she's at the company she finds that no one she knew works there any more. Why was she going there? Did she want her job back? We are never really told; but when she finds that she knows no one there, her confidence wilts and she retreats into herself. Nicole Kidman gives a stunning performance.
The script could have been better, some scenes just don't work like Becca randomly slapping a lady in the store...yeah, I'd rather forget about that.
All-in-all it makes a really, really good effort. It was good but wasn't natural enough to be great.

Score:  3 out of 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I think something do to mention is that it IS a stage play script. I bet in the theater this is moving because it's much more real and much more raw. In a movie though you don't get that movement and that interaction of, literally, watching people fall apart in front of you.