Rabbit Hole (2010)

“What are we going to do?”, says Becca (Nicole Kidman). Her husband, Howie (Aaron Eckhart) replies with the small steps that THEY are going to take as a couple and how THEY will deal with the outside world one step at a time. Although never married, I believe this is how it should be done! Isn’t this what marriage vow is all about? Then again, maybe I am in fantasy-land. The timing of that scene is impeccable, and the acting superb.

In fact, between Nicole Kidman’s performance and Natalie Portman‘s (Nina Sayers) in Black Swan (2010), I would say Nicole also deserved an Oscar for her performance. What can I say, I feel her pain through the film. If watching her has created any visceral effects, it means she has done a good job!

By now, you quite don’t know what I am talking about, do you? The premise of the movie is about Becca and Howie’s 4 year-old son that was killed in an accident, and it talks about how each of them, and the people around them deal with their son’s death, which also include the teenager, Jason (Miles Teller), who killed the 4 year-old in the accident. The ultimate question is how long grieving period should be before we move on? 1week, 2? 10 months ?8 years? The other question is whether everyone should react the same way? Is the overly cordial “I know how you feel” really appropriate? Personally, I hate people tell me that they know how I feel! I believe only the individual know how she feels. The simplest proof is a toothache! Perhaps one can relate to the pain created by a toothache, but how it feels, NO! So drop that ” Honey, I know how it feels, !!” it’s BS; because, feelings are subjective.

In other words, the film literally let us down the Rabbit Hole, and the question is how far, how deep? Hence, we see each character’s reactions to the tragedy of a death of a 4 year-old through the lens of his parents (Becca and Howie), the accidental killer (Jason), the family(Nat and Iggy), the buddy (Rick), and the neighbours (Peg), and strangers (Sandra, et al)of similar circumstances.

In one scene, Becca saw a boy in his school bus, and we did not know who he was? was it an imagined grown-up son? her past-live husband? re-incarnated dead brother? I was so hoping that it was not Birth (2004) again (though I like that movie too). It took a while that I found out who Jason was. Relief! However, the film does bring up the idea of parallel universe, and a bit of quantum mechanics in an unexpected realistic way.

The script was beautifully written by David Lindsay-Abaire. When the mother, Nat( Dianne Wiest),confided in Becca that she shooed away her friend Ms. Bailey that she was too clingy and condescending at times when his son, Arthur, died, I think that moment was just brilliant.

I really do not want to give away too much. Honestly, I thought this would be a FF (fast-forward) movie, but it ended up one that I would definitely tell my friends to WATCH! and who says Nicole Kidman cannot act?

Lastly, Gaby (Sandra Oh) plays the stereotypical couple, and stereotypical of everything. Her husband leaves her. I do not blame him, if they are still in therapy after 8 years!BTW, I just cannot help laughing at the scene when Howie and Gaby are high on weed sitting through a survivor group support therapy. Alas, the comic relief.

Superb cast! A must see!

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