Rabbit Hole

Is it Academy Award time again? So soon? It must be... here comes Nicole Kidman with her latest! Actually, this isn't as depressing as "The Hours," "Cold Mountain," or "Margot at the Wedding," but we DO get a workout.

It's good to see Aaron Eckhart ("Erin Brockovich," "The Dark Knight" and "Love Happens") cast in a role worthy of his abilities. He isn't a second banana this time and he certainly holds his own.

Eckhart and Kidman play a happily married couple whose four-year-old son was killed in an accident in front of their house. When we join them eight months later, things haven't improved very much. She is fed up with their grief therapy group and starts trying to cope in different ways ...one of which is to stalk the teen-aged driver who killed her boy.

Besides Eckhart and Kidman, we see:
  • Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy" and "Sideways") who has attended those group sessions for eight fruitless months.
  • Dianne Wiest ("Dan in Real Life") is Kidman's mother, who has also suffered the death of a child.
  • Tammy Blanchard (lots of TV) is Kidman's free-spirited sister, who has just become pregnant.
  • Miles Teller (soon in the "Footloose" remake) is the hapless teenager who drove that car.
Of course there are assorted co-workers, friendly neighbors and concerned family members as well, but our focus is on these two stricken people who are basically decent folks. (Although I watched her make pie crust and... Oh my dear...)

I had the sense that writer David Lindsay-Abaire (who won both a Tony and a Pulitzer for the original stage play) has had first-hand experience with this sort of loss. The emotional arc and some of the statements ring very, very true. And to watch two people get the giggles in grief therapy was perfect! Kind of like the funeral for Chuckles the Clown in the old Mary Tyler Moore show.

It's good to be reminded of the resilience of the human spirit.