Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rabbit Hole

Movie name: Rabitt Hole
Year of release: 2010
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Stars:Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Sandra Oh, Tammy Blanchard, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Tenney, Mike Doyle, Colin Mitchell
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

John Cameron Michell is one of the most interesting directors working these days. He made his feature debut with the fantastic "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", based on his play (and the songs of Stephen Trask), followed by the equally good "Shortbus" and his third feature, "Rabbit Hole", is also the first one to tackle a story that is not originally his. The film is an adaptation of the play with the same name from David Lindsay-Abaire (the play won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for Drama, as well as the Tony award). The film follows the story of Becca and Howie, a young couple whose young son tragically died in a car accident. They are both trying to resume their lives after that tragic accident, with their families and friends, each one of them reaching out differently. While Howie tries to be more expansive with his pain, Becca takes a more painful and self contained approach, one that at times explodes in confrontations with family, friends and even strangers.
John Cameron Mitchell takes his unique point of view and adapts it to the intimate and painful story of a couple, dealing with the pain of a loss that is unspeakable. His work is discreet but never trivial or cliche - he allows the silences and the spaces to speak of the loss. The distance between the characters also explains how they relate to each other. It's also a film that is driven by the performances of the main actors. Nicole Kidman uses her icy persona and demeanor to build Becca as a woman shattered by pain and guilt, for a child that she lost, for a life that can never be regained. Aaron Eckhart makes Howie a man who is desperately trying to rebuild his life, whose grief is ever present, as is his love for Becca. Dianne Wiest's Nat, Becca's mother, is a person who has been through loss and tries to reach out to her daughter, but realizes that there's a huge gap between them both. All the actors are fantastic and help create a film that is humane, heartfelt and deeply touching. Also worth highlighting, the cinematography from Frank G. DeMarco, that is warm and captures the actors very naturalistic-style. Worth watching.