The Rabbit Hole (2010)
How do you cope from the death of your child?
If something tragic were to ever happen to our children, then is it possible that we can ever move on with our lives? Losing a child regardless of what social group you come from, it can never be easy to get over. As I'm sure many of us can all agree that losing a child is arguably one of the worst things that can ever happen to a person. Heck, I wouldn't even wish for such a fate upon my worst enemy, but the sad reality is that people do die everyday. Whether it be by the passing of time, or something that happens unexpectedly. None of us are ever prepared psychologically to handle the loss of a loved one, but many find themselves forced to deal with it anyway. Is it fair? Of course not, but who said life was fair?
And once your child is gone, then what? How do you move on from there? How do you get over your child's death? Do you find comfort in religion? Or do you believe that religion is pure nonsense, and prefer to seek comfort in those that know your pain through group therapy and such? However, what if that's not good enough either? The reality is nobody really knows that answer, as it's not an easy one to give. Only the person in emotional sorrow knows that answer, and it's hard to move on with your life. Some take several months to get over such a travesty while others take years, but the pain they feel is still equally the same.
"The Rabbit Hole" isn't for the faint of heart. As it features a middle aged couple, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart), whom after eight months are still grieving over the loss of their infant son, Danny. Due to a tragic accident, their child is no longer alive. Sure, they've been going to group therapy a lot to try to cope with Danny's death, but none of it seems to be working. Howie desperately wants them to move on with their lives; while keeping the memories of Danny in their memories and hearts. Whereas Becca, she's not sure what she wants, as the memories of Danny only make her sad and miserable. Alienating herself from her husband, sister and mother the more they try to console her during this tragic time.
Sadly, as hard as her husband tries anything and everything to cheer her up, all it does is push her away; even though all he wants is to see her happy again. Needless to say, this almost pushes Howie on the brink of fidelity, as he's unable to connect with his wife emotionally anymore. However, as luck would have it, Becca meets a strange young boy, who happens to be none other than the person who's responsible for her son's death. Now, I know one would think she'd despise him after what happened, but strangely she doesn't. Upon seeing him for the first time since the accident, she decides to eventually confront him. What transpires from there is a unlikely friendship spawned from a very unlikely situation; eventually leading her to come to terms with her son's death for once.
As I said earlier, this film isn't for the faint of heart, as this is arguably one of the most touching stories I've ever seen. John Cameron Mitchell, along with his team of writers, perform a masterful job orchestrating a well played out story full of emotion and heartache. Showing that in life even though we maybe in pain a lot emotionally, we can sometimes find comfort in the most unlikeliest of situations and places. Death of any loved one is never easy to deal with...let alone the death of your child at a very young age. Nobody is ever ready to deal with such a loss, but John Cameron Mitchell plays off the concept beautifully. Never rushing through the precious character driven moments that allow the audience to connect with the characters on a emotional level, as you can't help but sympathize with each of the character's internal struggle....even the boy that accidentally killed Danny isn't necessarily a bad guy either. If anything, he even has a tragic story to tell as well. Therefore, it's hard to really hate any of these characters, as the character development is so deep that you'll find yourself connecting with each of them.
As for the acting, what more could I say? Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart were simply brilliant in their roles, as well as the rest of the cast. However, what really drove this film home for me was the dynamite performance by Nicole Kidman, as she rises to a level that I have not seen her in since "Eyes Wide Shut." Although I doubt she's going to win the Oscar for her role this year, but she's definitely worthy of her nomination, as her performance will touch anyone that watches this emotionally.
In the end, I would have to give this film a three and a half out of four. Outside of a few pacing issues where the story tends to drag it's feet, it truly is one of the most thought provoking films of 2010. Definitely a must see if your looking for a powerful touching story that will touch your heart...