Rabbit Hole (Blu-ray)
Be forewarned, this film is not a light piece of material. Through a gauntlet of unrelenting brutal emotions, RABBIT HOLE is an excruciatingly sad and painful story to behold. But if you are up for the challenge, I guarantee through a great script and excellent performances, your heart will be unlocked to an understanding and sympathy toward the trials faced by anyone who has lost a loved one and entered the bonds of marriage.
A young married couple Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) witness their child run out into the street and be struck and killed by an oncoming car. Grieving differently they must figure out how to move on with their life. Becca distances herself from the memories and becomes obsessed in knowing the boy behind the wheel of the vehicle that caused this tragedy. While Howie has trouble letting go of the past but tries to go through the proper steps of healing by committing to a support group of other parent’s who have lost children.
There are no surprises; the child has been lost as the film opens. This is simply an impressive character study of two people, once deeply in love and happy but with their lives turned upside down to the point where they don’t even know themselves anymore. They must learn to deal with their loss, their surroundings and continue to love each other.
Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, RABBIT HOLE explores a topic no one hopes to encounter. The strain on a relationship after losing a child is understandably massive. Director John Cameron Mitchell does a fine job of taking the time to get into these characters, being patient enough to allow the magnitude of the tragedy to be the unseen driving action and letting the actors do the work.
Bordering on perfection, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart are on top of their acting game with great chemistry as husband and wife. Rightfully earning her third Academy Award nomination, Kidman eternalizes so much emotion until it erupts with passionate cries as a grief stricken mother. Eckhart is still underrated as an actor as he continues his streak of natural charismatic performances. Even as a father and husband trying to be strong, supportive and logical on his progressive steps, he quietly shows exasperation as a helpless man. Words or no words, every scene these two veteran actors are in together is heart-wrenching. While this loss is a definite trial on their marriage through frustration, confusion and anger, they also are the only one’s who can truly understand one another.
The supporting performances are also exceptionally good. Dianne Wiest has long been one of my favorite actresses and she pulls off some the most poignant lines with a wisdom only possible from a seasoned pro as Kidman’s sweet supportive mother. A big surprise is Miles Teller as Jason, the teenage boy who accidently hit and killed their little boy with his car. He too is a victim in this tragedy as a kid far too young to have a child’s blood on his hands. Possessing an inner strength that reveals the guilt he is struggling with, Teller is wonderful and will surely be a name and face to continue to look for in Hollywood.
Whether you have children or not, your heart will ache for these characters. Clearly, parents love their children above all other things and have a united bond and desire for their child to have a better life than them. When that child is taken away far too young and early, a sense of grief, sadness and blame lays in deeper than humanly imaginable. RABBIT HOLE opens up that window of understanding a little wider. I’m not pretending that I know the feeling to lose a child but I don’t have to know to hope I never do.
Video: (1080p High Definition 1.78:1) A beautiful picture showing off the sunny colors even within the dreary emotion
Audio: (7.1 DTS-HD MA) A completely dialogue driven film that can all easily be heard.
Audio Commentary with the Director, Writer and Director of Photography: Director John Cameron Mitchell, writer David Linsdsay-Abaire and cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco give a generic play-by-play technical commentary that is a little bland and stiff even with slight joking around.
Deleted Scenes (3:07): Three wisely cut scenes using very forced drama.