Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Ever since the death of Princes Diana, public displays of grief, even for people we don't know personally, seem to be in vogue. But even if grieving 'out loud' is in fashion, I'm still not convinced there's a huge audience out there just desperate to go see the mechanics of mourning played out on the big screen over popcorn on a Friday night.

Still, if that's what floats your emotional boat, you could do a lot worse than check out Rabbit Hole - which manages to dodge all the pitfall's of saccharine Hallmark Channel grief, in favour of something more subtle, if rather on the frosty side.

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Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) slipped down the rabbit hole into a warren of grief with the death of their four-year-old son eight months before we join them. Now they are going through the motions of marriage, trying to come to terms with what they have lost.

This is the calm after the storm of initial grief, where pieces are supposed to be picked up and reconstructed and where life is intended to continue.

What interests David Lindsay-Abaire - adapting the screenplay from his own award-winning stage play - is not the cliched notions of anger and denial but the odd paralysis that can attend loss. Howie seeks solace in a group for grieving couples, while Becca finds and unusual therapeutic catharsis in conversations with the most unlikely candidate (Miles Teller).

The acting is good - particularly from Eckhart and Teller - but director John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus, Hedwig And The Angry Inch) never quite finds a way to reach beyond the boundaries of its original stage work.

Although the sentiments feel authentic, the way they are shot does not, frequently leaving the action in a brittle limbo that we can admire in terms of acting, but not touch in terms of emotion.

Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2011
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Rabbit Hole packshot
Eight months after the death of their son, a couple are still trying to cope with grief.
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Read more Rabbit Hole reviews:

James Benefield ***

Director: John Cameron Mitchell

Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Sandra

Year: 2010

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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