Me: “I’m off to see Rabbit Hole!”
Friend: “Good luck! I don’t know how believable Nicole’s performance is going to be with all that Botox!”
I have to admit I too was worried how Nicole would play a mother coping with recently losing her son. Whether you agree with her recent comments about trying Botox only once and not liking it, it’s safe to say she looks a lot less wrinkly than most 43 year-old mothers.
But within the first few minutes it’s clear that Nicole has given this role her everything. There are not enough superlatives for her role as Becca, a wife and mother dealing with her son’s death. The grief permeates out of every pore.
Nor are there enough good things to say about Aaron Eckhart as her husband Howie. This is a movie about both of them. Often movies about tragedy focus on one character’s journey, but Rabbit Hole taps into Howie’s anguish with as much attention as with Becca. His scene with the pet dog is particularly moving.
The characters and relationships are as fine-tuned as a racing car. The mother-daughter dynamic is abundantly realistic, all the more helped by Dianne Wiest’s restrained performance. There is Gaby, a mother from group therapy, played by Sandra Oh, who’s wasted on Grey’s Anatomy – she’s just so good here. And without revealing too much there is another relationship which is central to the story and brought to life with so much care.
If you go to the movies to escape, laugh or have a perve, this is not for you. But nor is this movie ‘depressing.’ It’s achingly beautiful and thoughtful. It restores your faith in Hollywood. And Nicole Kidman.
Are you going to see Rabbit Hole?