Saturday, January 08, 2011

RABBIT HOLE - Nicole in Sorrowland

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Tenney, Stephen Mailer, Mike Doyle, Roberta Wallach and Patricia Kalember
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Screenplay: David Lindsay-Abaire
Time: 110 mins
Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 4)

Kidman and Eckhart trapped in RABBIT HOLE

PREAMBLE: The 'Rabbit Hole' is Alice's entrance into Wonderland. In this movie, however, it suggests the deep trench of grief that is Nicole Kidman's 'Sorrowland'. And then again, it also refers to a comic book produced by one of the characters in the movie.

Whatever it is, Rabbit Hole is not a movie that is entertaining, but it is not that depressing either. For those who like to explore emotional depths without the melodrama, this is a fitting Hole to drop into.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?: Just eight months ago, Becca and Howie Corbett (Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) were a happy suburban New York family with everything they wanted. Now, after a tragic accident involving their four-year-old son Danny, they are trapped in a maze of memory, longing, guilt, recrimination, sarcasm and tightly controlled rage from which they cannot escape.

While Becca finds pain in the familiar, Howie finds comfort. The couple keeps trying to find their way back to a life that still holds the potential for beauty, laughter and happiness. The resulting journey is an intimate glimpse into two people learning to re-engage with each other and a world that has been shattered.

HITS & MISSES: The movie is adapted for the screen by David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 play. On the stage, it starred Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) and John Slattery (TV's Mad Men). The most fascinating aspect of this film, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, is the way Kidman's Becca and Eckhart's Howie try to handle their grief. Although Becca has a mother (Dianne Wiest), sister (Tammy Blanchard), and brother, she finds no consolation or solace in them. Indeed, She will not have sex with Howie or consider the possibility of another child. When she learns that sister Izzy is pregnant, her emotional wounds hurt and she stalks and befriends Jason (Miles Tenner), the boy who drove that fateful car, seeking some kind of connection that even she doesn't understand. Kidman, who subtly conveys a myriad of emotions via her face alone, has us rooting for her - and admiring her alabaster beauty.

Howie seems to have adjusted, but he suffers from bouts of anger and depression. As the gulf between Becca and Howie grows, he gravitates toward fellow support group member Gaby (Sandra Oh), whose husband has recently left her. Rabbit Hole is a poignant movie to watch but anyone who has lost someone dear will understand the heart-rending journey to recovery that Kidman and Eckhart take us through. There is no flashback of the traumatic tragedy that took Danny's life but the scene keeps playing in our minds, nonetheless.

THE LOWDOWN: An emotional odyssey for art movie fans.

Another Oscar Contender for Best Actress (Kidman), it is not scheduled to open in Malaysia


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