This is Nicole Kidman’s first venture into producing and she’s definitely done it the right way.
First, she optioned a Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by David-Lindsay-Abaire, then hired him to write the screenplay. She held out for: 1.) her first choice to play her husband, Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You For Smoking) and 2.) hired Oscar winner Dianne Wiest (Hannah And Her Sisters, In Treatment) as her mother. Then, she found a director who is also an actor, John Cameron Mitchell, (Hedwig And the Angry Inch) knowing he’d understand the depth of performance necessary.
This is a smart, adult drama with a terrific provenance but still, Aaron Eckhart says, even Nicole Kidman had to fight to get financing.
“Money was so tight, we had to live in the same house that was our set and I had to share a bathroom with Nicole for the six weeks of our shoot”. He laughed at the irony explaining that being so close was good for the film because it forced intimacy immediately. As a result, Rabbit Hole is a vivid, hopeful, honest, and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what’s left when it seems everything has been taken away.
Becca and Howie Corbett are returning to their everyday existence in the wake of the loss of their young son. Horribly for all concerned, he was killed in an accident by a teenager who lives nearby, a new driver who didn’t see the little one chasing his dog into the street.
Husband and wife deal with their losses differently. She reaches out to the boy who took her son’s life and he grows close to a woman from grief therapy effectively underplayed by Sandra Oh (Sideways, Grey’s Anatomy).
Don’t stay away from this film because of the subject matter. All the roles are so deftly executed, it feels as though you are hanging out with your family, witnessing the power of love that allows us to grow apart and find our way back again. Watch for Oscar to stand up and take heed!
Film opens on December 16. Rated PG. Running time 94 minutes.