“Rabbit Hole”

A stunning portrayal of grief, forgiveness and healing. Director John Cameron Mitchell gets it so right, this film deserved to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Its lack of a nomination is proof only that there are no “small films,” only “small minds” when it comes to evaluating the criteria of what makes a film “Best Picture-worthy.” From the very beginning, the film palpably creates the overwhelming feeling of emptiness not just in the hearts of the two main characters (Nicole Kidman’s “Becca,” and Aaron Eckhart’s “Howie,”) following the tragic death of their four-year old son,  but in the physicality of their home. The dialogue rings so authentically true that it’s heartbreaking, especially when it’s delivered by pros like Dianne Wiest. It’s a joy to see both Eckhart and Kidman in an intimate drama such as this one. Eckhart goes through the motions of each day but with a heart so heavily despondent that he seems to personify the concept of a heavy heart physically. Kidman infuses Becca with such a restless, twitchy, energy, that every moment spent with Becca feels seat-squirmingly like tip-toeing across a field of land mines. The score? It’s the first time I’ve ever considered what a sad lullabye might sound like. The  story is told gently, delicately, slowly so that by the time a key figure is revealed, it has the impact of a terrible car crash. A tough, tough movie for people to watch who have been through a similar tragedy, but so authentically depicted that it might actually be cathartic for some. “Rabbit Hole” is a film not to be missed.

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