Nicole Kidman is beyond worthy of an Oscar nomination for her role as Becca. She is distance from her Howie, while rarely leaving the house. Combined with the uncomfortable experience of watching her bottle up her feelings, Becca is a frightening character to empathize with, but we do so out of instinct. Her cold disposition and uninviting demeanor keeps the audience at arm’s length as we struggle to embrace her and say “its gonna be ok.”
Howie, on the other hand, pursues a completely opposite approach to coping with the loss of his sun. He goes about life with a positive demeanor, while quietly honoring his son’s memory. This becomes a direct conflict as Becca subconsciously works to remove any evidence of their son from their daily lives. Eckhart also delivers a surprisingly deep and accomplished performance, sharing a side of him self no seen before. Kidman and Eckhart work brilliantly together. Dianne Wiest is a welcome face, portraying Becca’s mother, who also has had her share of loss to cope with, but her efforts to support Becca develop into an additional level of tension that adds depth to Becca’s world.