Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 2010): USA

Reviewed by Kathleen Amboy.  Viewed at the Riviera, Santa Barbara, CA.

  Rabbit Hole  is a comic book, used in the grieving process of Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) Corbett, parents of a young boy killed by a teen driver.

Becca and Howie approach their grieving differently.  Becca makes outward gestures to move on, by packing up her son’s room, donating his clothes and removing his artwork from the fridge, while Howie attends group therapy, clings to his memories and seeks comfort from Becca. 

Becca is not very comforting and is pretty much finished with the whiny parents in “group.”  Howie resents the rejection and the coldness, and can’t understand that Becca’s heart is breaking from within.  The two cannot connect, and so it seems all of their joy and love has been deeply invested in their only child.

Howie continues with group therapy and discovers a sense of solace in the company of Gaby (Sandra Oh), another grieving mother.  Becca finds the company of her sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard) and mother Nat (Dianne Wiest) almost intolerable, but instead begins a friendship with the sensitive teen responsible for her son’s death.

Jason (Miles Teller) invites Becca to read his personal artwork in the form of a comic book, which begins her healing process.

In a visually stunning portion of the film, the camera peruses the comic book pages through Becca’s POV, and we witness the start of her healing as her heart begins to reconnect with her soul.

Dianne Wiest is fantastic as the tried-and-true understanding mother and Eckhart is solid, but Nicole Kidman is phenomenal as the acerbic tongued, anguish ridden mother in mourning – Kidman cannot be seen, only Becca Corbett appears.

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