"Does it ever go away?"A married couple endures the tragedy of losing their young son in the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole.
Eight months after a speeding car claimed the life of their four-year-old son Danny, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) must try to put the pieces of their life and their marriage back together. Each coping in their own separate ways, Howie has enrolled the couple in a grief counseling class as he continues to remember his son by watching videos and keeping his room just as it was before he died. While Becca, on the other hand, is so overwhelmed by her anger about what happened that she's involuntarily taken it out on everyone around her--her husband, her mother (Dianne Wiest), her mom-to-be sister, and everyone in her grievance class. She keeps her grief so close to the chest that she comes across cold and uncaring, without so much as uttering her son's name. In fact, she even suggests selling the house. As the strain of Becca and Howie's marriage continues to wear on them, they each find separate outlets for their grief.
Rabbit Hole is essentially a precious detailing of their grievance period. Nothing more, nothing less. A slow-moving, but raw tearjerker Rabbit Hole that it's only one clear aim is to give audiences a peak into a sadness that so enveloped this one family that it nearly had a choke-hold on everyone who came near them. It's very character-driven (mimicking what was probably great about the play), but it's not a story we haven't seen before. It's not particularly special, but it is especially well-acted. Aaron Eckhart deserves recognition here as a heartbroken dad, desperate to revitalize his marriage and his own life. While the story is heavily set around Kidman's Becca, Eckhart holds his own on screen next to her, further elevating her performance and propelling his own. Kidman's performance, while good, is faltered by her lack of expressions. Her character comes across very one-dimensional and one-note when it probably shouldn't. Becca reaches a dramatic revelation in the movie, but Kidman does not. Though it plateaus emotionally for much of the time, Rabbit Hole is an engaging and heartfelt drama.