I just came across these particularly nice reviews that I wanted to share with you. Remember, if you want to read more than just head on over to Google News and do a search – there are lots to read, and most of them seem to be good!!
Movie review: Kidman, Eckhart pull you into ‘Rabbit Hole’
There’s nothing worse than losing a child. It deadens you to the point where you feel like you can’t go on. The sadness is just too unbearable to allow it. Yet, somehow you do move forward, just like the grief-stricken couple at the heart of the beautifully rendered “Rabbit Hole.”
Even though they are played by actors as striking as Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, the Corbetts of Westchester County are as resolutely human as any couple scrambling to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
The ease in which each finds their way into your heart is a testament to the intensity of performances that cut directly to the frayed nerves of two people trying to make sense of how in an instant they went from being parents to being nothing.
Watching them try to regain their equilibrium is indeed difficult, if not downright unsettling, but Kidman and Eckhart demand you keep watching through each wrenching epiphany and hard-won truth.
In adapting his Pulitzer-winning play to the screen, David Lindsay-Abaire not only expands on the story’s themes of acceptance and forgiveness, he also injects generous amounts of unexpected humor that keep the film’s inherent dourness from becoming all consuming.
It’s the family dynamics, though, that thoroughly engross you, especially the turbulent bond connecting Kidman’s Becca Corbett with her well-meaning, but somewhat clueless mother (potential Oscar nominee Diane Wiest), who has an unfortunate knack for always saying the wrong thing.
Watching them evolve from combatants to confidants is as thrilling as it is moving, and it’s all due to the levels of truth and compassion that Kidman and Wiest generate over the course of the film.
What gets to you even more, though, is Lindsay-Abaire’s decision to bring together Becca and the guilt-ridden teenager who was behind the wheel when her 4-year-old son, Danny, darted out into their quiet, residential street.
He’s played by newcomer Miles Teller, and the three or four all-too-short scenes he shares with Kidman are among the film’s best, covering the spectrum from utter devastation to faint glimmers of hope.
Somewhat lost in all of this bonding is Eckhart’s Howie, who is allotted considerably less screen time than Kidman. But that only makes what Eckhart accomplishes all the more impressive.
Unlike Becca, who wants to forget that her son ever existed, Howie wallows in the memories, poring over photos, replaying home movies and prominently displaying the preschooler’s rudimentary artworks throughout the house.
He also desperately wants to get back the affectionate, fun-loving wife Becca was prior to the accident. And when he’s convinced that might never happen, he becomes more and more tempted to seek solace in the arms of another grieving mother played by Sandra Oh.
Where this is all headed is blissfully unpredictable, right up to the film’s haunting conclusion. But it’s hard not to walk away with a vivid understanding of why so many marriages fail to withstand the strain brought about by the guilt and finger pointing.
Credit a lot of that to director John Cameron Mitchell. In making his first foray into the mainstream after stirring up the art houses with his transgender musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and the controversial “Shortbus,” Mitchell stays true to his belief that every movie lives or dies on its ability to make the emotions real and relatable.
With “Rabbit Hole” he accomplishes both in delivering a film that puts you through the wringer, yet leaves you calling out for more because the characters, including Becca’s sassy and very pregnant sister, Izzy (Tammy Blanchard), are so fascinating.
More than anything, “Rabbit Hole” serves as a poignant reminder of how resolutely we should appreciate the time we have with our children no matter how long, or short, a time that may be.
Kidman gives best performance of her career
Rabbit Hole” explores the complicated territory of the grieving process. Packing an emotional wallop, it’s a small film about a huge and complex subject.
Director John Cameron Mitchell enlists the help of a brilliant cast and writer David Lindsay-Abaire, who provides a compelling script adaptation based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same title.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are trying to navigate emotionally difficult terrain in the wake of their 4-year-old son’s accidental death eight months earlier.
It’s clear Becca and Howie love each other, but both of them are so deeply wounded that what they share and what they keep hidden just under the surface has prevented them from moving forward cohesively.
Becca employs a calm demeanor that seems pleasant enough as the film begins but her seemingly ordered existence is soon revealed as a temporary cover-up for the intense rage, anguish and misplaced guilt she can no longer stifle.
Howie, on the other hand, longs for the intimacy and comfort the marriage once provided. He is relentless in his determination to figure out some way to rebuild a
life with Becca but his suggestions for psychological therapy or even the possibility of having another child are met by his wife as if they would be exercises in betrayal.
Becca’s mother (Diane Weist) is a woman who feels she can relate to her daughter’s pain, having endured the loss of her drug-addicted adult son. Instead of relying on her mother for support, however, Becca bitterly insists on carrying her burden alone.
While Howie finds solace in going to a support group for grieving parents, Becca secretly reaches out to the young man who was involved in the accident that killed her son.
The film provides Kidman with the best performance of her career. This is a transfixing portrayal and Kidman smartly allows Becca to be just as unlikable as she is vulnerably tragic. She has received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress and it, along with any other notice come awards sea-son, is entirely deserved. Eckhart, Weist and newcomer Miles Teller are also pitch perfect in their characterizations.
Even though the subject matter isn’t likely to entice throngs of viewers, “Rabbit Hole” is a thoroughly absorbing film. Moviegoers who have a frame of reference for the universal and inevitable process of the kind of genuine grief that follows significant loss will find the film to be executed with astonishing accuracy.