Rabbit Hole (dir. John Cameron Mitchell, 2010) – A couple struggles to return to normalcy after the devastating death of their young son.
The thought-provoking Rabbit Hole takes a sharp look into life and death, where heavy emotions linger.
In a world where films succeed at the box office with explosive visuals on an immense budget and full-throttle speed, it is rare to find a lasting minute that truly connects on the emotional front. But to say that such poignant cinema is bygone will be to dismiss what John Cameron Mitchell has accomplished with Rabbit Hole.
In his latest effort, the Hedwig and the Angry Inch director brings visual allure and touching performances to the distressing subject of a child’s death. It is a difficult story, beautifully penned by adept writer David Lindsay Abaire. With his compelling words, the stage play finds new life on screen that will doubtlessly move.
Resonant words open up to an astute understanding of bereavement. In face of tragedy, the young couple brings out common struggles against covert grief that threatens to drive them apart.
Blame begins to distance the pair. Howie (Aaron Eckhart) finds solace in the company of a self-help group, but his wife leaves and copes in a different way. Becca (Nicole Kidman) instead seeks out Jason (Miles Teller), the young driver behind the fatal accident that killed their son. There are no accusations. All she begins to develop is an enigmatic attraction, due to the guilt and shame they share.
Tension ratchets up to intense emotional outbursts in the once-loving family. A heart-rending turn of events sees riveting performances from every member of the cast, especially Miles Teller who makes a powerful cinematic debut. Their credibility draws a visceral connection that haunts with melancholy, but also a hint of inspiration in their path to recovery however difficult.
With sincerity, Rabbit Hole meditates upon the quiet battle within one’s self in the face of adversity. Quiet and perturbing moments make Rabbit Hole an unmissable masterpiece.