Review: Rabbit Hole (Mitchell, 2010)

Still from the movie Rabbit Hole

You know when you throw a party how the people you know from different walks of your life all come together, and it’s strange to see them interacting? Well, that’s what watching Rabbit Hole felt like to me a little, mostly because a few of the people I recognize from such specific contexts. Like Sandra Oh. I know she’s had other gigs now (e.g. Grey’s Anatomy), but to me she’ll always be Thomas Haden Church‘s love interest in Sideways. And when I see Aaron Eckhart, that image of him in The Dark Knight where half his face is burned off is always superimposed over his face on whatever screen I’m currently watching. It’s distracting. AND–this was the big gotcha for me–the director, John Cameron Mitchell, is the very same guy who plays Hannah’s e-book editor David in the HBO series Girls. If you know him from Girls first, it will blow your mind that he is the same guy who makes this kind of movie. Then you have Miles Teller, whom I was first introduced to do in Whiplash. Well, he’s not that different. It was just nice to see him again.

eckharteyeI’ve been wanting to watch Rabbit Hole ever since Nicole Kidman was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 2011. I realized I love seeing Kidman at her best, though I have no real affinity toward her. Anyway, she doesn’t disappoint in this film.

Rabbit Hole is based off David Lindsay-Abaire’s play of the same title and focuses on a couple recovering from the death of their child. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with the notion that movies–or art in general–should be subtle. But plays aren’t typically subtle, and movies based off plays aren’t either (think Closer), and sometimes this is a relief. It’s cathartic to watch characters dealing with grief and anger and resentment and guilt in an ordinary, straightforward way. It doesn’t have to be surprising to still feel real and oddly releasing. Rabbit Hole is excellent at capturing these emotions–especially grief, in all its various forms.

Perhaps this is just another movie that is “right up my alley,” but I liked it more than most of the other dramatic films I’ve seen lately.