A deeply emotional and heart-wrenching film, Rabbit Hole slipped passed the average movie-goer when it was in theatres. The film’s low profile, despite its high-calibre cast, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation. Grab a box of Kleenex because Rabbit Hole is this week’s DVD Pick of the Week.
I saw this movie back at TIFF in September and the film has stayed with me over the past 6 months and countless movies I’ve seen since then. In fact, I made it one of my top picks from TIFF way back in my very first blog post. Based on the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole deals with the tragic loss of a couple’s young son and their grieving process in the aftermath of the tragedy. It’s definitely not light viewing.
The film is skilfully directed by John Cameron Mitchell who, at first glance, seems like an odd choice for this film. His previous films Hedwig and the Angry Inch (in which he also starred) and Shortbus are completely different films to Rabbit Hole. The fact that he can pull all three movies off—musical, indie dramedy, and intense drama—is a testament to his skill. Nicole Kidman is the one earning well-deserved rave reviews as Becca, the mother at the centre of the tragedy. The audience grieves with her as she adjust to the everyday mundane tasks that continue despite losing a child. Kidman earned her thrid Oscar nomination for her work in this film, which film critic Richard Corliss of TIME magazine called a "career-best performance." Kidman’s performance plays off that of Aaron Eckhart as her husband Howie as they present two sides of dealing with the same event. Their understated performances add to the intimate nature of the film—it is almost as if they were performing the original play on stage. Howie tends to vocalize his feelings more than Becca and reach out and share them in therapy where he meets Sandra Oh, who is wonderfully cast.
Also out on DVD/Blu-ray: