2010 // USA // John Cameron Mitchell // January 26, 2011 // Theatrical Print (Landmark Theaters Plaza Frontenac Cinema)
B- - Everything that occurs within Rabbit Hole revolves around a personal cataclysm that is only hinted at for the first twenty minutes or so of the film, a stratagem that proves wholly consistent with the work's interest in the phenomena of emotional evasion and suppression. The young son of polished upper-middle-class strivers Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) perished eight months ago in a car accident, and although their life is not necessarily in tatters, the couple's unresolved grief crouches in the room, mocking their hollow gestures towards normalcy. John Cameron Mitchell--creator of brash and bratty indie gambits like Hedwig and Angry Inch and Shortbus--isn't the obvious choice to helm David Lindsay-Abaire's adaptation of his own play. While Mitchell's direction is assured and sensitive to the nuances and diversity of human emotion, Rabbit Hole too often feels like a grimly dutiful exploration of a character blueprint, rather than an authentic tale of sorrow. For a story about unthinkable loss, it exhibits a curious lack of poignancy, one that cannot be explained entirely by Becca's ruthless shuttering of her emotional landscape. It's a distinguished film, but frigidly so, and rarely distinctive, apart from its embrace of a curious, scientific sort of solace befitting a faithless world.