Sunday, January 8, 2012
Movie Review: Rabbit Hole (2010)
The struggle to deal with the death of a child must be the most cruel challenge that parents can face. Rabbit Hole examines the life of an anguished couple at the crossroads, months after the trauma of losing their son. It's a heartfelt, well-acted and human-scaled movie, looking for the faintest sign of light within abject darkness.
Becca's mental state is not helped by her mother Nat (Dianne Wiest) continuously bringing up her own lost child, while Becca's irresponsible sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard) adds to the tension by getting herself pregnant. Without quite knowing why, Becca finds herself initiating contact with Jason (Miles Teller), the teenager driving the car that killed Danny. Depending on the very few critical decisions that they will get to make, the relationship between Becca and Howie will be either destroyed or placed on the slow road to recovery.
As an understated drama, Rabbit Hole demands stellar acting and the cast obliges. Nicole Kidman delivers a tender performance, a mother struggling between the natural tendency to turn inwards and the missteps that seem to accompany her every action whenever she tries to reach out. Aaron Eckhart's Howie is more stoic but equally conflicted, wanting to hold on to fragments of his son's life while wondering why his wife is not moving on as quickly as he is. Dianne Wiest as Nat is surprisingly influential in her daughters' lives, and the sometimes stormy but mostly loving relationship between Becca and Nat rings true.
Rabbit Hole seeks the seeds of new beginnings in the embers of tragedy. They are always there; it's just a matter of deciding to look, or not.
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