Rabbit Hole (film)

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Rabbit Hole
Rabbit Hole Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Produced by Nicole Kidman
Leslie Urdang
Gigi Pritzker
Per Saari
Dean Vanech
Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on Rabbit Hole 
by David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring Nicole Kidman
Aaron Eckhart
Dianne Wiest
Miles Teller
Tammy Blanchard
Sandra Oh
Music by Anton Sanko
Cinematography Frank G. DeMarco
Edited by Joe Klotz
Production
  company
Blossom Films
OddLot Entertainment
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s)
  • December 17, 2010 (2010-12-17)
Running time 91 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million[2]
Box office $5,129,058[2]

Rabbit Hole is a 2010 American drama film starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and Dianne Wiest, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell; the screenplay is an adaptation by David Lindsay-Abaire of his 2005 play of the same name. Kidman produced the project via her company, Blossom Films. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. Lionsgate distributed the film.[3] The plot deals with a couple struggling to heal after the death of their young son. Kidman was critically acclaimed for her performance as Becca Corbett and received Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Actress. It received a limited release in the United States on December 17, 2010 and expanded nationwide on January 14, 2011.[4]

Plot[edit]

Becca and Howie Corbett mourn the death of their 4-year-old son Danny who was killed in a car accident when he ran out into the street after his dog. Becca wants to give away Danny's clothes, remove Danny's things, and sell their house, but Howie is angry at Becca's elimination of anything that reminds them of their child. Howie also wants to resume sexual relations with Becca and have another child, but she rejects his advances.

Becca's mother, Nat, compares herself with Becca as she lost a 30-year-old son from a drug overdose. Becca states the two deaths are not comparable but eventually realizes their grief is the same and will never stop. Becca's sister, Izzy, is pregnant, and Becca keeps giving Izzy advice about becoming a mother, which Izzy resents.

Becca and Howie attend a self-help group, but Becca is irritated by some members of the group, particularly by one couple who attribute their child's death to God's will. Howie continues to attend the meetings without Becca, and he and long-time member Gabby almost begin an affair. However, Howie backs out of it.

Meanwhile, Becca starts meeting with Jason, the teenage driver of the car that hit Danny. She discovers he feels guilty and tells him she does not blame him for the accident. Jason tells her about a comic book he is writing called "Rabbit Hole", which is about parallel universes, and gives it to Becca to read who thinks it is wonderful. Howie does not like Becca's meetings with Jason.

Howie and Becca start to have new activities, such as bowling and playing games, and they start to accept their son's death.

Howie and Becca decide to have a garden lunch. The scene begins with Howie telling Becca how the lunch would take place, while simultaneously the screen fades into the lunch as Howie continues to speak in the background. The film ends with Becca and Howie sitting in their garden alone holding hands after all their guests have left.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Rabbit Hole was filmed primarily in the Douglaston neighborhood of the borough of Queens, New York City.[5] The $4.2 million production had a 28-day shoot.[5]

Due to a scheduling conflict, Kidman declined a role in Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, in favor of this film.[6]

Owen Pallett was initially scheduled to compose the score,[7] but then Abel Korzeniowski was announced.[8] Ultimately, the position went to Anton Sanko.

Release[edit]

The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, then played at three other film festivals (Mill Valley Film Festival in October, and both Denver Film Festival, and Rome Film Festival in November), and then opened in Canada and the United States in December 2010.[9]

Reception[edit]

Festival and other advance showings of the film have garnered good reviews, particularly for Kidman and Wiest. Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Kidman grabs the central focus of the story as the more distraught of the two. The performance is riveting because she essentially plays the entire film at two levels, the surface everyday life and then what is turning over and over again in her mind."[10] Peter Debruge of Variety found it "a refreshingly positive-minded take on cinema's ultimate downer: overcoming the death of a child," and called it "[a]adroitly expanded" from the stage play, "with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart delivering expert, understated performances."[11] Roger Ebert gave it 3.5 stars out of 4, calling it "... entertaining and surprisingly amusing, under the circumstances. The film is in a better state of mind than its characters. Its humor comes, as the best humor does, from an acute observation of human nature. We have known people something like this. We smile in recognition."[12] Richard Corliss of Time magazine named it one of the Top 10 Movies of 2010.[13]

The film received a standing ovation at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[14]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 86% "Fresh" rating.[15]

Differences from the play[edit]

The play has a cast of five roles, while a few other characters such as Gabby are only mentioned in dialogue. In contrast, the film has a cast of over a dozen actors. While the entire play takes place in the home of Becca and Howie, the film has a variety of locations. Past incidents, such as Becca's bad experience in the grief support group, are referred to in the play's dialogue but are depicted on screen in the film.[16][17] The videos that Howie obsesses over are actually seen in the film, though not in the play.[18] The two subplots of Howie's relationship with a woman from the grief support group and Becca's relationship with Jason, the driver of the car that hit Danny, have both been expanded. The film also adds new characters who do not appear in the play: sister Izzy's boyfriend and Howie's best friend.[18]

Jason is an aspiring science fiction story writer in the play, but an aspiring comic book artist in the film.[17]

In the opinion of critic Jim Lane, the film is more focused on the husband and wife and less of an ensemble piece. Lane writes

On stage, Rabbit Hole is a tightly focused five-character drama punctuated with sharp, surprising flashes of aching humor. In the movie, however, supporting roles are trimmed into near irrelevance, elbowed into the background by the spotlight focused on Becca and Howie—or, more bluntly, on Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. Here’s what David Lindsay-Abaire seems not to understand about his own play: It’s like an atom in which the five characters are electrons revolving around the missing nucleus that was Danny.... Without their nucleus, these electrons wobble and flail in their orbits, by turns clutching at and repelling one another.... In the movie, Rabbit Hole’s symmetrical stage design is torn between the age-old pitfall of “opening up” a play and the Hollywood urge to focus on Kidman and Eckhart (who are, after all, the stars).....The movie orbits Becca and Howie instead of the lost Danny.[19]

The director of a 2010 stage production of Rabbit Hole, Robert A. Norman, declared, "The 2010 movie version starring Nicole Kidman lacked the humor and hopefulness of the stage script. Our production will have plenty of both of those things."[20] However, Abaire, who wrote both the stage play and screenplay, believes, "For the film, we cut so much that worked in the play that I worried we had cut all the laughs. But there were all these other laughs I didn't know were there."[21]

Accolades[edit]

Wins
Nominations

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RABBIT HOLE (12A)". Metrodome Distribution. British Board of Film Classification. November 15, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Rabbit Hole (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. April 7, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Lionsgate takes trip down 'Rabbit Hole'. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Rabbit Hole Film Sets 17 December 2010 Release Date". Broadway.com. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Ryzik, Melena. "Star Power Glows Behind the Scenes". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  6. ^ "Kidman bolts from Woody Allen film". Variety. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Owen Pallett says farewell to Final Fantasy. TheStar.com. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  8. ^ "Korzeniowski to score 'Rabbit Hole'". Movie Score Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Mill Valley Film Festival
  10. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk. "Rabbit Hole -- Film Review", The Hollywood Reporter, September 14, 2010
  11. ^ Debruge, Peter. Rabbit Hole - Film Reviews. Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  12. ^ "Rabbit Hole". Suntimes. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  13. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 9, 2010). "The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - Rabbit Hole". Time. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Nicole Kidman releases her new film, 'Rabbit Hole'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  15. ^ Rabbit Hole at Rotten Tomatoes
  16. ^ Jenelle Riley (May 5, 2011). "Stage to Screen: 'Rabbit Hole'". BackStage. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Harry Haun (December 20, 2010). "Stage to Screens: John Cameron Mitchell and David Lindsay-Abaire Jump Down a Cinematic "Rabbit Hole"". Playbill. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Brad Rudy (May 5, 2011). ""Rabbit Hole" -- A Stage-to-Screen Review". Theater Review. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  19. ^ Jim Lane (January 1, 2011). "Hare-line fracture". Film Review. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  20. ^ Morgaine Ford-Workman (August 12, 2011). "Hiding in the "Rabbit Hole" in Langhorne and Skippack". PhillyBurbs. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  21. ^ Chad Jones (March 10, 2011). "'Rabbit Hole' pleases writer David Lindsay-Abaire". Times Union. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  22. ^ Aaron Eckhart to receive 2010 excellence in acting award at 33rd Starz Denver Film Festival Denver Film, 2010
  23. ^ The Top 10 Truly Moving Picture Award winners from 2010! Truly Moving

External links[edit]