John Cameron Mitchell
Howard (Eckhart) and Rebecca (Kidman) have lost their son Danny, eight months ago. A freak accident really, the family dog chased a squirrel, Danny chased the dog and a car happened to cross the street and snatch Danny's little life away. Rabbit Hole is the struggle of Howard and Rebecca, to pull themselves out of the hole their son's death drove them into. They attempt to go on with their life as a couple and with their individual activities, while finding a rightful place for their son in their memories. You see no footage of Danny during the movie, not even a photo of him and yet you feel his weight on Howard and Rebecca's shoulders. They struggle not to get swallowed by their pain and by the ghost of Danny, while trying to redefine their lives on solid grounds. It seems easy to move on, but it's not to do so while properly saying goodbye.
The most amazing thing about Rabbit Hole is that it's, first and foremost, a love story. Almost a hundred percent of Hollywood's romantic movies are really movies about desire. It follows a mold. Dude/Girl is deprived of the object of his/her lust and goes through impossible stunts to prove his/her worth to the subject of his/her lust. He/She spends most of the movie desiring and it generally ends on the first kiss. Rabbit Hole is not like that. Howard and Rebecca are together and go through tough times with for only goal to hold on to each other. I thought it was a nice change of pace. The dialogs don't always sound right, but you have to keep in mind that it's an adaptation from a stage play. On stage, you have to communicate emotion with your voice: "I FEEL SO FUCKING SAD" *flop flop* might be very touching in front of an audience, but "I feel so fucking sad" *flop* might be a little far fetched on the big screen.
I thought Nicole Kidman and especially Aaron Eckhart did a very good job appropriating the text and formating it to the more intimate medium of cinema. Their non-spoken moments are most touching. They have confusion and despair down to their bare mechanics. I thought Miles Teller was rather weak as Jason, the guilt-ridden teenager. Rabbit Hole is a tough movie that deals with death in a way Hollywood never really did before. You will most certainly cringe at the exposition of raw human suffering, like an gruesome open wound, but it's not going to leave you bloodied up and confused. It's not a destructive movie, but an attempt to understand what is proper grief. It's weighted with minor acting issues from the support crew and sometimes stiff dialog, but it still gets the job done. It's a great, tough movie.