|Director||John Cameron Mitchell|
|Starring||Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Sandra Oh, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller|
|Release||17 DEC (US) 4 FEB (UK) Certificate 12A|
I have no problem with a movie that tackles a difficult issue such as the loss of a young child, but the set-up does tend to feel a little aimless. It's less a linear narrative, more a series of fragments of Becca and Howie's lives. They'll try anything to take their minds off their tragedy - bowling, smoking pot, making unscheduled visits to work - but the truth can't be avoided, and it rarely feels like the movie progresses as a result.
Kidman and Eckhart are both mightily impressive, and both nail the award-baiting opportunities to a) fly off the handle and become super-aggressive, and b) break down in moments of emotional introspection. Rabbit Hole feels like a showcase for its A-list cast to flex their theatrical muscles; it's a delicate glass cabinet of a movie that's meant to be placed on a shelf and admired from afar but never really touched.
The supporting cast warm the mood a little; Dianne Wiest is great and receives the brunt of daughter Becca's barbs, while Sandra Oh is superb as a fellow griefer somewhat closer to the light at the end of the tunnel than the central couple. Young newcomer Miles Teller plays perhaps the most complex part - that of the driver who accidentally killed poor Danny - and carries it off with awkward ease; his curious relationship with Kidman is one of the movie's high points.
Rabbit Hole is hardly what you'd call a date movie, and it's difficult to see what kind of audiences it'd appeal to outside of awards season chin-strokers. It's well-written and boasts two brilliant performances but ultimately, The Grief Olympics proves almost too exhausting to keep up with. Still, it's got a brilliant poster - although you'd have to be a complete and utter sadist to put it on your wall.