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March 12, 2011 | 11:30 a.m. CST
The outside may be a perfect blue house with white trim, but within dwells a tormented couple. Rabbit Hole delves into the grueling turmoil a person endures after losing a loved one. It’s certainly not a feel-good movie, but the raw emotion of the characters leaves audiences appreciative of the message.
Eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son, Danny, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie’s (Aaron Eckhart) life is locked in a state of pure pain. While they go about their daily lives cooking dinner, reading books and going to work, their motions are artificial. With her mother’s comparisons of her daughter’s grief to her own and her sister’s newly announced pregnancy, Becca struggles to hold everything together. Becca and Howie seem like strangers sharing a house as they attempt to cope in divergent ways.Related Movie
Rabbit Hole immerses viewers into the suffering of these parents and the toll it takes on their marriage. The camera’s tight shots of Becca as she stares blankly at the world around her in silence solidify her hopelessness. In the beginning, she hunches over while planting flowers. The camera captures a small purple flower in the foreground, with Becca in the background, and for a brief moment she appears hopeful staring at this tiny blossom.
Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole illustrates intimate, poignant moments — but director John Cameron Mitchell offers brief specks of comic relief. The soft instrumental music often tells more than the words, as if the notes and facial expressions reveal everything there is to know.
This film might have audiences sinking down into their chairs as they recoil from the misery they witness, but the complex characters and gripping plot of Rabbit Hole will keep them enthralled.