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Movie review: 'Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole Credit: JoJo Whilden

Rabbit Hole
3 stars
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire (adapted from his play)
Starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh

In “Rabbit Hole,” adapted from the Broadway play by David Lindsay-Abaire, a couple (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) copes with the grief of losing their young son in a car accident. Though it happened eight months ago, their son is still very much a presence in their lives — his drawings are on the fridge, his car seat is strapped into the vehicle, his room full of toys, clothes and books.

Becca and Howie deal with grief in different ways, at different paces, and the clashing of their respective approaches forms the heart of this film. How does a couple, bound by love and devotion, muddle through a tragedy like this? Compromise, the universally accepted solution to relationship problems, is not as viable an option when it comes to an experience as private as grief. And so Becca and Howie lead parallel lives of mourning, which works until one day it doesn’t work at all.

There’s something rote about “Rabbit Hole” that waters down its potency, a certain five-stages-of-grief quality that makes you feel like you’ve seen this story before. So, instead of rawness you get predictability. Instead of a profound ending you get a pat ending. Still, the strife is poignant and the performances feel organic. If you’re into mopey, true-to-life stories, “Rabbit Hole” is worth your while.

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