Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Running time: 88 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release date: 4th February 2011
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 15th November 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This film is based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire who also wrote the screenplay. I must admit I’m usually quite wary of films based on plays; they usually turn out to have far too much dialogue and very little cinematic quality. This is an exception, the story moves along quite nicely from location to location and it doesn’t get bogged down too much with the dialogue. Given the subject matter there are some quite wordy and dramatic scenes though. I will give you my thoughts after this very brief summary.
Several months ago Howie and Becca lost their four year old son in an road accident. The film deals with the different ways the couple deal with their grief and how this affects their relationships, not just with each other, but with everyone around them. Becca’s mother, Nat, and her sister, Izzy, are always there for her but she finds a kind of solace in the friendship she strikes up with the boy who was driving the car that day, Jason. Howie goes to group therapy and seems unwilling to move on, always clinging to the past. A woman at group, who’s husband has recently left her, Gaby, may be able to give him what Becca can’t, but is he willing to take that leap? I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Emotional Drama’s Division) will be stealing all the tissues.
Really well made with a beautiful musical score by Anton Sanko which accompanies the visuals perfectly. One of the things this film is noted for is the Oscar-nominated performance by Nicole Kidman as Becca, and she was really great. Almost as good, IMO, was Aaron Eckhart as Howie. Also worthy of note were; Dianne Wiest as Nat, Miles Teller as Jason, Tammy Blanchard as Izzy and Sandra Oh as Gaby.
I found this film quite hard to watch at first, I think if you have suffered a loss in your life then it will be quite a hard one to view. Fortunately I stuck with it and I’m very glad I did. As the story unfolded I began to maybe recognise things in my own behaviour, not necessarily bad things, but things that I could relate to. This allowed me to better understand the characters Becca and Howie and have some sympathy for their plight. At the end of the day I found it a very powerful, sometimes harrowing but at the same time quite a beautiful film, one that I would highly recommend.
My score: 8.5/10
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 16,419 votes at the time of going to press).
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Becca: Somewhere out there I'm having a good time.
Becca: Does it ever go away?
Nat: No, I don't think it does. Not for me, it hasn't - has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.
Nat: I don't know... the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you... you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and - there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful - not all the time. It's kinda...
Nat: not that you'd like it exactly, but it's what you've got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh... it doesn't go away. Which is...
Becca: Which is what?
Nat: Fine, actually
Becca: [voice-over] And then what?
Howie: [voice-over] I don't know... Something though.
Official Site: http://www.rabbitholefilm.com/