RABBIT HOLE-13You can watch the trailer here
Movies that generate Oscar buzz tend to strike a chord on my radar, and Rabbit Hole is no different. After this morning's announcement of the Golden Globe nominations where Nicole Kidman landed a nomination for her role in this film, I figured it was about time I found it and watched it.
Rabbit Hole, which was directed by John Cameron Mitchell, follows a married couple, Becca (Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart), who are grieving the loss of their 4-year-old son, Danny, after he was hit by a car. The two take different routes towards finding comfort and acceptance. Howie turns towards group therapy where he connects with Gaby (Sandra Oh). Becca tries therapy but chooses to find Jason (Miles Teller), the boy who hit Danny when he chased his dog into the street. In the meantime, the couple has to deal with Becca's sister's (Tammy Blanchard) pregnancy and Becca's mother (Dianne Wiest) who only wants to help with the coping process.
If you're looking for a storyline, you should probably stop now. It's not a film with much of a story arc - the screenplay is giving us a character study more than anything else. The only plot device we really have are that Danny was killed in a car accident that was really no one's fault.
Because it's a character study, a lot of this film's success rides on the acting performances. Kidman is fantastic as she always is, and she easily deserves the accolades she's received in relation to this role. I've also heard Wiest's name kicked around here and there for a potential supporting actress nomination come Oscar time, and I could get behind that. However, I do have a bit of beef to get off my chest: why is NO ONE talking about Aaron Eckhart in this movie? He's absolutely brilliant! I mean, he's just as good as Kidman, if not better. I understand that she has more of an awards-riddled career (and it's much deserved, mind you), but I just don't see why no one is talking about Eckhart. I'm hoping that he'll pull out a nomination in the way that Maggie Gyllenhaal pulled out a nomination for last year's Crazy Heart - everyone watched the movie for Jeff Bridges, but then they saw how good she was, so they nominated her in a supporting role.
I did have one issue with this movie, and that's the level of emotion it conveyed. If you only watch the trailer, you'd probably expect a bit of an emotional ride that takes you into the depths of sadness and depression, as would be expected over the death of a child. However, I think that works against Rabbit Hole, in a way. Maybe it's just me, but I feel as though that knowing what the film was about going into watching it, I, either consciously or subconsciously, distanced myself from the material being shown to me. Maybe that was the filmmakers intent, but for me, I'd rather feel the emotions that the characters are feeling. I would've liked to have suffered while they suffered, but instead, I felt like I was watching a slow-moving resolution as it came over them.
I couldn't help but remember 2008's Revolutionary Road as soon as I finished Rabbit Hole. For me, it's essentially the same - very strong acting with a story that's supposed to be intensely emotional but leaves you feeling just a little empty without making you go through the emotions. I'm not saying that Rabbit Hole is a bad film; in fact, it's the opposite. It's a very, very good film that's extremely well-acted. However, if you're going to see it, see it for the acting so you don't feel a little empty once its all said and done.
Movie Review Summary:
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2010: 2 nominations