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The Sad Version

29 Dec

Don’t go to see Rabbit Hole expecting a comedy. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star as Becca and Howie, two parents still coming to terms with the death of their four-year-old son. Whereas he is fixated on the past and trying to deal with his emotions, she is letting go rather than dealing with the loss. Becca finds comfort in the high school student who was driving the car that killed her son, and Howie bonds with another member of a support group (Sandra Oh). As you may assume, the film is not big on laughs. Thankfully, it’s not a total tear-jerker, either, but it won’t be the lightest moviegoing experience you have. If you’ve seen Ordinary People or In the Bedroom then you know what to expect.

Rabbit Hole, which was adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his play and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, is an intimate, poignant look at grief, and the differing ways it plays out. Kidman, in the role that won Sex and the City‘s Cynthia Nixon a Tony award, is very good, as is Eckhart, but for me, it’s Dianne Wiest, as Becca’s mother, who gives the better performance. It’s hard to say I enjoyed this movie, and I thought there were some moments and scenes that didn’t work, but the whole thing ends nicely, and I walked out of the theater thinking positively about the movie. So I’m giving Rabbit Hole a B.

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