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Rabbit Hole

by

Jeff Nelson

This is an easy recommendation on the acting alone.

Rabbit Hole
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The story of tragedy has been around in story telling for an extremely long time. This is the telling of an incredible loss. One of the most difficult tasks for a film such as this is to come across genuine. Rabbit Hole is a tearjerker that attempts to bridge the gap between the screen and the viewer. Some audiences may need a box of tissues by their side while watching.

Becca and Howie grapple with the realities of life eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son, Danny. Even with Becca's mother having good intentions and weekly group therapy available, the couple go about their own secret ways of coping with the loss. The biggest concern I had before seeing this is that we've seen this subject matter too often in theaters. However, Rabbit Hole delivers a more natural environment. The film begins with the audience knowing little to nothing about the characters. As the story continues, we know more than just what the couple has been through. Both characters are given quite a bit of depth that allows the audience to get to know them more. While there are moments where the pacing is slow, it manages to pick up around the halfway point. Rabbit Hole isn't all sad. There are times where comic relief is offered. It's tastefully put into the story and fits right in.

The performances given are definitely worth discussing. Nicole Kidman received an Oscar nomination for her role. She's a tremendous actress that puts all of herself into her characters. Kidman does a fantastic job during the scenes of great emotion, sadness, and anger. The extreme portions of acting is how most audiences measure a performance. A difficult task is to be able to handle the mellow moments and continuing to make the audience feel engrossed in the character. Nicole Kidman does just as well with the leveled sequences as she does with the extreme times. Alongside Kidman are Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, and Sandrah Oh. While Aaron Eckhart does well, he doesn't handle the intense times quite as well as Kidman. There are nothing here but good performances, although Nicole Kidman stands out above the rest.

The tone for the film is very important. The style of the movie matches the situation occurring. The filmmakers clearly wanted this to be as raw of a drama as possible. There is very little music playing throughout the movie. The dialogue and performances speak for themselves. The message from Rabbit Hole is that the pain given from the loss of a loved one won't ever disappear. It just gets easier. The tone of the film isn't a happy one. However, it's hopeful.

The film Rabbit Hole certainly has its ups and downs just like any movie. The acting is clearly the biggest advantage here. This is an easy recommendation on that alone. However, the dialogue is well-written as well. The concept of a couple losing a child and the problems surrounding is tired, although this is one of the better ones. If you can get past a few times of slow pacing, it's worth seeing. Some may end up like me and feel great sympathy for the characters, but not cry, or could end up shedding tears. Just to be on the safe side, make sure to supply yourself with a box of tissues.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

Next movie: The Amityville Horror (2005)
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