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Rabbit Hole reviews - What did you think?

(51 Posts)
JosieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 31-Jan-11 10:02:17

This thread is for the MNers who attended a preview screening of Rabbit Hole on Sunday 30th January. Everyone who adds a review on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will win a Cineworld Annual pass for 2 with unlimited tickets, plus we have five pairs of tickets for runners up.
Below are some questions to get you started, please feel free to add your own comments as well.

What was your overall impression of the film? Anything you particularly liked or disliked?
Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?
What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?
If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?
If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?
How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?
Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

Any other final comments/feedback are of course welcome.

Many thanks

MNHQ

Belo Mon 31-Jan-11 10:37:02

I didn't get to see the film. But, my Dad went on my behalf. This is what he said:

An unremmittingly bleak film, clearly circumscribed by its theatrical origins. Largely redeemed by brilliant performances from Kidron and Eckhart. A concluding ray of hope at the end allows the audience to leave the cinema not entirely distraught. Still, I am glad I did not stay home to watch Murray, that would have been more depressing. He folded so easily.

He says he wouldn't see it again, but recommends it to me if I'm feeling strong enough! He says he's glad my Mum didn't see it as it would have been far to depressing for her.

malinkey Mon 31-Jan-11 12:29:51

It was pretty depressing viewing and wouldn't be a film I'd normally choose to see at the cinema.

Saying that, I was surprised at what a good actress Nicole Kidman is - I hadn't been aware of this or I'd forgotten as I haven't seen her in anything for ages. She was brilliant in this role. The film was quietly engaging and kept me gripped throughout. It was interesting to see the story unfold of how the two main characters coped with the trauma of losing their child in their own ways. The end was at least a little promising and there were - thankfully - some moments of humour.

I was in tears for most of it as it was so emotional and very moving. The acting was good throughout and the other characters were well developed and added to the story.

I wouldn't recommend it if you are likely to be very upset by the subject matter but I would recommend if you could cope with this - but make sure you take some tissues!

KarenG Mon 31-Jan-11 12:33:39

My overall impression of this film was a sensitively made and well acted film with excellent cinematography. I think it would be best appreciated on the big screen, and I'd recommend it to friends whether they were parents or not. I think it raises issues of loss, grief, trust, family relationships and friendship networks that are universal.

Having seen it, I don't think I would buy it or rent it to watch it again.

I liked the fact that despite the subject matter there were a few moments of light humour. The one failing of the film I think was the ending. Having taken a commendable "less is more" approach to the early part of the film, resisting any temptation to show footage of Danny when he was alive, I thought the ending was a bit too hollywood/predictable and didn't need to spell out or show the beginnings of the healing process quite so much.

All in all, a worthwhile experience.

MrsMLF Mon 31-Jan-11 12:37:36

A study on how the middle classes griefs - with dignity, a hint of arrogance and total detachment from the real life. In interesting story, with a pace for discovering the missing parts of the plot. Beautiful photo shots.

A good movie, and I recommend to see, for a busy mum, on DVD when on your £5 Tesco shelf.

3seater Mon 31-Jan-11 12:38:04

A very powerful and thought provoking film.
I liked the way that the subject of a loss of a child was bought into the mainstream - an area that is often subjugated.
I also liked the way that different ways of expressing and managing grief were explored. The idea that 'god talk' isn't always useful/a comfort, was also food for thought.
It would have been interesting if Kidmon's family weren't so white m/c - would they have had the same support networks/access to support etc? I think probably not.
I would recommend this film to both friends and family as it is an important subject that isn't (in my expereince anyway) really 'out there'and yet logic tells me that it should be.
I think that this film could be comfortably watched on dvd, but in saying that not sure that you would get the full dramatic effect of some of the scenes, for instance where Kidman stands alone as a bleak central figure.
I would describe this film as a powerful portrayal of a couples loss of a child and the myriad of ways that grief can be experienced.
I would probably hire this film to watch with others (eg Dh) as the topic aside it is also very well acted. Funnily enough though I couldn't imagine buying it, that would some how feel mawkish.

mindthegapmummy Mon 31-Jan-11 12:39:49

I knew the subject matter - i.e. the aftermath of the loss of a child on a couple before I saw it and so I knew it was going to be quite gruelling. I thought both the central performances were excellent particularly the male lead Aaron Eckhart who did that 'held in' grief very well. Kidman was also very good but I found her less compelling. I was really moved by the scene of her talking to her mother who had also lost a child down in the cellar of their house. Being a parent I found some of the scenes very hard to watch - when she clears out her son's room of his stuff and when her husband is watching videos of them playing together on his phone. I thought the ending was particularly good - nothing was easily resolved, just the sense that life goes on even if irrevocably changed.

I have read quite a lot on messageboards for parents who have lost babies and children and they say it accurately portrayed aspects of their life. The way friends don't know what to say, the annoyance at people saying things like 'it was god's plan'. I'm not sure I would recommend it to people who aren't parents.

I would describe it as an intense, challenging film with two powerhouse performances with a lot of dialogue and some humour.

I don't think I would actually buy it on DVD or Blu Ray but I would watch it again on DVD.

nineyearoldsarerude Mon 31-Jan-11 12:42:43

If I had stopped to think about it I probably wouldn't have gone to see this film (I have been affected by grief and can't watch sad films without sobbing-which can be quite embarrassing!), but because it was free and I haven't been to the cinema in a while....Anyhow, even though I left the cinema with red eyes I was glad I had gone to see it. I thought it was quite a realistic portrayal of the grieving process, eight months down the line after the tragedy and therefore not completely raw but definitely still in a sort of limbo. I liked the way that the film centred around the parents and that although there were snippets of video/photos of their son there were no actual flashbacks (except one of the mother's reaction to the accident). I liked the fact that there were moments of humour. I particularly liked the summary of grief by Becca's mother-how over (a long) time it doesn't go away but does get easier and the heaviness changes to become more of a brick in your pocket. And that somehow what remains is 'good' because it is what you have left of your loved one.
It was quite shocking to realise the significance of the boy she spotted on the bus and moving to see the relationship they forged based on what had happened to them both that day.
The main disappointment for me was the portrayal of the joint counselling group. I just didn't find the speeches of the bereaved parents to be very true to life (maybe it was too American??). (And as an aside I'm tired of seeing marijuana use cropping up in so many films-but maybe that's just because I've never tried it.)
I loved the ending, loved the couple bringing it all back to basics and taking everything one step at a time and seeing them begin their ascent out of the darkness.

5GoMadOnAZ650 Mon 31-Jan-11 12:58:16

I took my friend with me to watch the film as dp refused to join me when I told him the brief storyline which I'd read. I was slightly worried it would be harrowing and stocked up on tissues just incase yet I actually really enjoyed the film. It was sad obviously but it was broken up by funny moments that didn't feel contrived. I also enjoyed how the ending wasn't the typical happy ever after. I spoke to my mum and friend about the film and have recommended it but probably as a DVD rental rather than a purchase as I think once you have watched it once you probably won't need to see it again.
Thank you mumsnet for giving me the opportunity to see it.

Coca Mon 31-Jan-11 12:58:26

The film was amazing. I am trying to persuade my DH to watch it with me when it comes out on DVD. (he would never risk watching it in public)
We are fortunate to have never experienced the grief and loss felt by the characters in the film, but as parents I think that fear is in all of us. The acting was outstanding, obviously Nicole Kidman, but also the teenage boy and the rest of the supporting cast.
I would reccomend this film to anyone as although it makes you cry there were heartwarming laugh out loud moments and I left the cinema so thankful for my children and my husband.
The ending could not have been handled better in my opinion, no hollywood happy ending just a thought provoking glimmer of hope.

CroatianVillas Mon 31-Jan-11 13:00:08

The script seems an usual choice to have been given the green light by Hollywood execs, particually in this financial climate and with such big names too, but interestingly enough, it brings something fresh for cinema goers.

The script itself, I found quite an original take on life and death. However I feel that the film answered too many of it's own questions, not leaving the viewer enough time to contemplate on their own emotional responses or thoughts and thus, I don't think you're ever caught up in the Characters' emotions, it never quite captures you and you simply remain a viewer throughout the whole journey.

Kidman delivers a solid performance, with Eckharts performance a little wooden with the exception of one good scene when confronting his sons accidental killer. For me the stand out performance comes from Dianne Wiest as the calm but similiarly grieving mother/grandmother; an understanded and effective performance she's perhaps the character with whom most could Sympathise.

Overall, an interesting film that does well to steer clear of the cliche happy ending. But is it worth a £15p.p. visit to the cinema? Probably not. I'd hold out for the DVD rental...
6/10.

3rdnparty Mon 31-Jan-11 13:03:59

I thought the acting in the main was really good especially Howie, the mum and the teenage boy. Nicole Kidman was good as well probably best thing she's done since The others - and I'm normally a fan of hers... It made sense that it was from a play as at times it felt quite 'small' set based in the main although this did make the dialogue in parts really interesting and meaningful...but other bits such as Howies reaction when the teenager turned up felt like it had been badly cut. The family interaction bits were good and less glossy than other bits so felt more real...
An interesting way of looking at the issues by focusing on the parents rather than the actual death but I felt the 'hopeful' bit at the end seemed a bit false- but I guess its not a Mike Leigh film!
Its a good well made film but not sure I who I could recommend it too unless its a friend who wants a weepie..as I did lots -

harringaygirl Mon 31-Jan-11 13:04:43

Very well acted and directed, you can't fault the performances.
The story was moving but the way it was handled was too bland, tasteful and middle-class.
The script was good but the characters were too stock - the grieving uptight mother; the loving and sensitive husband; the feckless sister with lots of common sense.
The humour was good - there should have been more, it would have added some much-needed ambiguity and rough edges.
The film was orginally a play, this is very obvious, it is very static, it is a filmed play, the filmed version does not add anything that visual. For this reason, watching a DVD would be as good as seeing it on the big screen.
The ending is abrupt and forced, I wonder if it was changed at a late stage, so that people do not leave the cinema too depressed.
It is worth seeing but this subject could have made a much more interesting film.

What was your overall impression of the film?

Enjoyed the film, found it interesting to see the different reactions of the two main characters to the death of their son. Very good performances by Kidman and Eckhart. Took me back to my feelings re: deaths of those close to me.

Anything you particularly liked or disliked?

Liked the fact that it focused on the study of the main characters' relationship and of wider family relationships.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?

Yes I would, it's a great film - I think it's probably more of a girls film than a boys film.

What about friends who are not parents?

Yep, I think good for them too, again more of a girls film IMHO.

If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?

I'd say it's not suitable for anyone who likes an action film or is uncomfortable with exploring feelings/relationships. Anyone recovering from a recent bereavement may find it fairly emotive.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?

Enjoyed seeing it in the cinema but then I always like to watch a film on big screen.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?

Explores the impact on a couple and a family of the death of their 4 year old child.

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

Yes, at some point maybe, I'd be happy to watch it again.

sh77 Mon 31-Jan-11 13:25:56

Many thanks to MN for arranging this.

As background, my daughter passed away unexpectedly a day after her birth. I am not a fan of support groups as I don't feel talking about what happened really helps. However, I have been looking for films or documentaries that have dealt with loss and grief to see how others coped. The trailer was enough to bring tears to my eyes and I was nervous about watching the film for fear of crying throughout. My OH wouldn't watch it with me.

The opening scene was very poignant and I am guessing a metaphor for grief. The mother (Nicole) had planted a small plant and watered the new shoots of others - fragile acceptance? Her neighbour then pops over to invite her for dinner and accidentally stands on the plant - a step back in her grief?

The film is very much focussed on how the couple navigate the grief process together and on their own.We are (mercifully) spared any harrowing scenes of her child's death (there is a flashback but no graphic detail). This is what I was dreading. It touches on issues surrounding the loss of a child, for example, trying for another child, the pregnancy of a close relation, questions about why, blame, friends.

Before I saw the movie, I wondered whether Nicole would play the role of the mother well given her iciness. However, she was perfect for this very reason. The mother deals with her grief in a very controlled, measured, aloof way. She conveyed a lot of what she was feeling through her facial expressions, which she did brilliantly. One could sense her constant tension in different situations - support group, social gatherings, the news of her sister's pregnancy. I was willing for her to have an outburst and just let it out. She did at one point.

In contrast, her husband was much more vocal and open with his grief. Both came across as being utterly alone, which is the true if both parents handle their grief in very different ways. However, they do come together at the end by taking small steps to move forward.

I would highly recommend this film to anyone who has been through similar. Of course, it is very raw in parts, and yes, I did cry a lot, but the story is very beautifully, realistically, and sensitively handled.

Rehune Mon 31-Jan-11 13:26:28

Beautiful and sensitively acted and Nicole Kidman was so restrained and strangely unsympathetic given the role of the grieving mother. I liked the tension that was built up between the two leads and although sad at times, it also made me laugh out loud.
There is a scene where Aaron Eckhart's character Howie foolishly decides to show prospective buyers around the house and the part when he gets to the nursery is heart wrenching.

I would not have normally gone to see this film in the cinema and would recommend this as an 'actor's movie' but also as something that could wait to be watched on DVD.

DH thought it was ok and that it seemed more like a play than a movie and was a bit lacking in emotion!

KangaRue Mon 31-Jan-11 13:31:46

I thought Rabbit Hole was a really powerful film and Nicole Kidman was great in her lead role. It was very "real", dealing with an incredibly difficult subject with a rawness and integrity somewhat unexpected by many Hollywood films.

The other characters also had depth beyond usual expectations - the Mum and Sister in particular weren't just glossed over. I think this may be because it was adapted from a play. My friend and I shed a tear at different sections - for me it was when the Mum talked about the "brick" she carried around in her pocket. For my friend, it was the scene of the husband walking the dog.

Highly recommend seeing this film. It will be interesting to see how many Oscars it receives, as it's up against some tough competition, but is worthy seeing in it's own rights. I don't think you have to be a parent to see this film, but it certainly adds a different dimension, as it is relatable from so many different layers from the different characters reflections.

The impact is great on the big screen, but could be easily transferable to watch at home on DVD or blu ray. It's such a good movie that I would see it again, as I think it's a movie where you would pick up different aspects from such indepth characters and views.

While it's a film about losing a child, it's a movie about how different people utilise different coping mechanisms, and a lot of the time it's just about making the next step rather than overcoming or getting through pain. Intense without being overwhelming, it was totally relatable and real.

Fimbo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:49:54

What was your overall impression of the film? Anything you particularly liked or disliked?
Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?
What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?
If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?
If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?
How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?
Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

I loved this film, I thought Kidman and Eckhart were excellent throughout.

I took my friend with me and we both agreed that whilst thought provoking we would recommend it to other parents.

I would recommend it for cinema release.

I would say that it is a well acted film, with a hint of humour and a few unexpected twists as the story progresses.

I would buy it on dvd as I would like my husband to watch it as he is not normally a Nicole Kidman fan.

I liked the sensitivity of the film.

Cleendra Mon 31-Jan-11 13:57:13

Firstly, thanks to Mumsnet for arranging the viewing. I went with my Mum. She said she had never seen such a depressing film. I have to agree but, all the same, I quite enjoyed it. There were a few grains of hope within the slow plot. Regarding the main subject of the film - the accidental death of a young child - I thought this was handled very realistically. I can imagine that people may have to grieve separately from their partners, and that could lead to a divide or make them stronger. Couples who grieve together can find, further down the line, that they have nothing except the grief in common. Surprisingly the thing I enjoyed most was Nicole Kidman's acting - she was superb. Everyone I mentioned the film to said they can't stand Nicole Kidman and I didn't realise before how unpopular she is. Of course Aaron Eckhart is dishy as ever and that helped the film along a treat. I would not recommend going to the cinema to see this. For me it's a classic DVD rental movie. I hate sobbing uncontrollably in front of complete strangers in the dark - much better do it at home with a box of tissues at hand!

nineyearoldsarerude Mon 31-Jan-11 14:43:30

Oops-I didn't see the questions we were meant to answer!
I think I would recommend it (not to parents specifically but people in general) as a good film but I'd have to stress that it could be heavy going. I think I'd prefer to see it in the cinema even though at home you obviously get to cry in private. (But I just prefer cinema in general-and I wouldn't rent it but would maybe watch it on tv later on down the track.)

KurriKurri Mon 31-Jan-11 14:45:18

I loved the film, I found it a very moving, and thought provoking study of the different ways in which people grieve, how it is often a lonely journey, and no one reacts in quite the same way. It also looked at how others deal with a grieving family, from the intrusively concerned to the avoiders. It has very obvious theatrical origins, but I don't see that as a negative.
The acting was outstanding, particularly Nicole Kidman.

I would recommend it to other parents, although it deals with every parent's most terrifying nightmare, it does so with touches of humour, and a glimmer of hope.

I would recommend it for non parents too, because it would have meaning for anyone who has suffered any loss, or any terrible life changing event, it deals with the ways in which people try to move on.

I think it is a film that would play better in the cinema, but I would also like to see it on DVD, to see if it has the same impact.

I would describe it as a beautifully acted, poignant story about loss and grief. Although it moved me to tears, I found it ultimately uplifting, and came out of the film with a sense of peace.

Many thanks for my tickets.

mummy2myhoney Mon 31-Jan-11 14:49:16

Thank you Mumsnset for the tickets! I really enjoyed the film.

Rabbit Hole is a powerful movie about a couple Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) whose life has been torn apart by the loss of their loving son. Both trying to find their back to their everyday existence and each of them dealing with the loss in a different way. Becca, storm of emotions, seems to lash at everyone who tries to comfort her. Yet she seems to find her way through grief when she befriends the boy who was involved in the accident. Howie believes that he will find comfort with another women. Rabbit Hole is a portrayal of a journey of two people who are learning to re-engage with each other and the world around them.

My impression of the film – powerful and moving (cried all the way long).

I like the film on the whole but would like show a bit happier ending though it seems that Becca and Howie finally find their way back. The end shows a potential for love and happiness yet again.

I would definitely recommend to watch the film to other parents and non-parents. I have taken a friend of mine and she has no children and she liked it as well. It is a powerful and emotional story.

I love films on big screen so it would have to be cinema.

The film is emotional, powerful and sad, yet leaves room for comfort and happiness in the end. And leaves the viewer with comfort that there is a happy ending after all.

I am not sure if I would buy it. I would probably rent it and watch it again.

All in all worthwhile watching.

EngelbertFustianMcSlinkydog Mon 31-Jan-11 15:07:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherofmany Mon 31-Jan-11 15:45:12

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?

Yes - although more fainthearted parents may struggle to confront the awfulness of how a bereavment would impact on their couple functioning.

What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?

Yes - its just a film about grief and how that changes you.

If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?

A recently bereaved parent would struggle i think.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray

it could easily wait for dvd. the impact would not be lost.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?

a portrayal of the devastating impact of a child bereavment, carefully and subtly depicted.

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

No, one journey through this familie's grief is sufficient.

So, overall impressions

The relationship between the teenager and the mother of the child is brilliantly portrayed and went beyond my expectations of a hollywood film.

Tortington Mon 31-Jan-11 16:05:36

sorry mumsnet, i didn't go, i had a hangover from going to a mumsnet brighton meet up. so actually in a round a bout way - it's your fault!

sunchild77 Mon 31-Jan-11 16:56:09

I had read a little prior to the screening, and I was worried that I would find it a real tearjerker, however, althought the suject matter is so terribly sad and poignant, I was surprised that I did really enjoy this film.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?

Because it makes you think. Its a terrible scenario, the sudden death of an adored child, I made me realise how much we take so much for granted. This film made me appreciate my children all the more, as I could understand how devestating losing one of them could be. HOw life would never be the same. It made me realise how short life is, and that life is for living. I would recommend it to childless friends also, for the same reasons.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?
Poignant, raw, overpowering with grief at times, but also tender and funny moments which break it up. I think the subject matter alone would be enough to put some people off.

I dont think I would rent or buy this film now that Ive seen it. As I dont feel I would need to come back to it again. Of course if I were a grieving mother several years down the line, it may be a film that I could understand more on a personal level.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray? Well its not a first date film, and although I left the cinema feeling hopeful for the couple's future together, I did not feel as "uplifted" as I would like to have been after a treat out at the cinema. I would recommend it, but I think I personally would wait until the DVD came out.

Thank you Mumsnet for the opportunity to see it

Rhadegunde Mon 31-Jan-11 17:43:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bluedogs Mon 31-Jan-11 17:59:54

I loved this film. I thought it was a quiet, meditative, grown up film about grief. It was pitch perfect and for me never strayed into the mawkish or sentimental. And that was my main fear that its subject matter - the death of a child would ultimately make me feel as though I had been manipulated. So I was on guard for swelling violins, gratuitous shots of the accident, etc, etc
but instead it’s a big theme done with a delicate indie sensibility.

It is quite obviously a play that has been turned into a film. You wouldn’t miss out on the nuances if you saw it on DVD. However San Fran as a backdrop is beautiful. Maybe it was deliberately chosen for its greenness, as a metaphor for how life renews itself etc.

I can imagine a criticism of the film would be its tastefulness. The beautiful people in the beautiful house etc, but for me it just accentuates the awfulness of it all. That the randomness of life is truly democratic and you cannot buy your way out or insure yourself against it. That shit happens to decent people and that this ultimately changes your world i.e. you go through a rabbit hole into a parallel universe(world of pain) that you didn’t know existed.

Both the central performances are great. There is a stillness about Kidman that beautifully accentuates her turmoil. Its all in the sharp tight intakes of breath. The minute change in her facial expression. Its nuanced and light. Whilst some may see this as the standard repressed form of WASP grieving there is something refreshing and realistic about not all emotions being worn on the sleeve.

There is a lot about how grief can be hugely divisive at a time when you should be “pulling together”. That people cope with grief in a way that you don’t pot smoking/Christianity/flirting. That sometimes grieving takes on a competitive edge e.g. who is hurting the most, who is recovering the best etc. There were occasions when some of the scenes felt like a set up e.g. pregnant sisters but not so contrived that they rankled hugely.

I liked the fact that the film had silences and pauses. It gave you time to process stuff whilst noting that life just continues. Its about how grief is a constant. You think you are dealing with it but grief is not linear and predictable. There is a fantastic line when the grandma (Diane Weist) says something about grief never going away but that the weight of it changes. And that is all this film is saying.

angrymum49 Mon 31-Jan-11 18:05:05

This film is a vivid portrait of a family coping with the death of a child. Although the subject matter is pretty bleak there are moments of unexpected humour! I enjoyed this film and would recommend it to those who are parents. If you want a "feel good" movie this is not it, but it is thought-provoking!

The couple are dealing with their loss in their own ways. Becca is coping by removing all signs of her son's existence, and you get the feeling that she is keeping her emotions under tight control and is about to crack while Howie advocates counselling and keeps himself busy at work, while replaying clips of his child secretly on his phone.

The relationship between Howie are Becca are beautifully played by Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. You see them growing apart as Becca forges a friendship with a teenage boy and Howie becomes friendly with a woman from the support group. Their relationship is tinged with anger, guilt, blame and they are pushing each other away.

There were several layers to this film, with some very funny scenes and a great supporting cast. I would certainly watch this again on DVD, if only to see what I missed the first time around!

alythonian Mon 31-Jan-11 18:50:47

Hi,

Thank you very much for the tickets. My husband and I saw the film at the Cameo in Edinburgh.

What did I think of the film? I think it's a very good film, well made and well acted with well developed lead charachters. The topic is not one to better your mood or provide some light hearted relief but what it does provide some thought provoking issues. It makes you query yourself and ask what you would do in their shoes? Would you fall to her side or to his? It was obviuosly saved for release now at Awards Season and Nicole Kidman has been recognised there but I htink in amongst the other big hitters it will get a bit lost and not as many people will see it as should do which is a shame and I guess why reviews on sites such as this should encourage people to go and see the film, no matter how difficult the subject matter.

People who are parents should go to see the film, it's not parent unfriendly in any way. To not see it because you are a parent is like telling people not to go and see Revolutionary Road because they are married. these are real issues and are better out in the open. It may help parents who have suffered similarly, but it's a good film with a story well told.

It's a 12A and the only people I wouldn't recommend it to are under 12s even accompanied by adults as I don't think the majority of children would be able to grasp the complexity of the situation, not because there is anything bad in it.

I love the cinema so I'd always encourage people to see it in the format intended. Howvever I'm sure the impact would be as great on DVD.

To describe it afresh would be to tell the tale of parental suffering at the loss of a child with no blame directly attributal and how it affects the marriage.

I personally wouldn't buy it on DVD but that's me, I much prefer the cinema experience and can never sit still at home long enough to watch a DVD.

My overall impression was that this is a very good film, it plays in my memory like a book rather than a film as regards the memories, which probably says the acting and story portral was very good. I disagree with the issue date as too many awards films just now will mean less will see it. It's a feel good film in it's own way.
8/10 from me.

Phamfatale Mon 31-Jan-11 18:54:45

As an avid movie goer, I always avoid reading any reviews prior to seeing a movie lest I am prejudiced or otherwise form some preconception without giving the movie a fair chance. Rabbit Hole was no different.

Both Aaron and Nicole give solid performances as parents who have lost a young child. Being a parent it was challenging to watch in some parts but I suspect tears would well even in the eyes of the stoic as it explored the frailties of ordinary people and a dysfunctional family (thankgoodness its just not me and mine)dealing with loss.

It is well cast with all of the central characters giving credible performances. What I enjoyed most was that the film felt real, it didn't offer any solutions or have a typical hollywood ending. The movie had a simple plot but nonetheless unfolded in a manner which gave the viewer a sense of reality. No matter how brutal or complex,life does go on. It must, and in that simple truth, there is hope for all of us.

I would recommend it if you are in the mood to see something real, rather than trashy escapism (which we all need from time to time, don't get me wrong). Despite my heavy heart after seeing the movie I felt blessed by my life and my good fortune and that in itself, brought a smile to my face. Go on, be brave, go and watch it for yourself.

Guadalupe Mon 31-Jan-11 18:58:31

What was your overall impression of the film?

-I thought this was an excellent film. I wasn't sure what to expect with the subject matter and it was certainly harrowing, but I felt it dealt with the bereavement very sensitively without resorting to melodrama or cliche. Kidman's performance was superb and Eckhart was good though a bit wooden at times. It was fairly relentless and intense, even eerie, and I'm glad it was a short film, but overall I thought it was a beautiful, subtle exploration of grief.

Anything you particularly liked or disliked?

- I particularly liked Becca's response to bereavement group, especially after a couple said their daughter was needed by god to be an angel and she responded with 'why couldn't god just make another angel, he is god after all.' This was quite funny, in fact, there was a surprising amount of humour.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?

- I would recommend it as it is a good film but I would warn that it is bleak and desperately sad and to be aware of this before watching it.

What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?

- I would recommend it to people without children for the same reasons.

If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?

- I would probably not recommmend it to someone I knew who had been bereaved as I could not possibly judge at what stage, if at all, in their grief it would be appropriate to recommend something like this to them.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?

- I enjoyed it on the screen but my mother, who came with me, would have preferred to see it on dvd as she found it very hard to suppress her emotions. The atmosphere was quite tense and judging from the sniffing several people were moved to tears. If people would prefer not to cry in public then maybe watching it on the sofa with tissues would be better.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?

- I would say it is harrowing portrayal of a couple coping with their grief after the loss of a child, but that it is surprisingly beautiful and sensitively done.

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

- I might rent it and watch it again with someone else but would not probably not buy it as it wouldn't be something I'd watch over and over again.

I don't know if I would have gone out of way to see this film before I read the review thread on mnet, as I had seen the trailer and thought it would be too upsetting. I'm really, really glad I did as I enjoyed it and thought it a very good film. Thanks to all concerned for the free tickets.

vbus Mon 31-Jan-11 20:16:20

What was your overall impression of the film? Anything you particularly liked or disliked?
I thought the film was great despite being a terribly sad topic. It did exceed my expectations and was quite refreshing in the way grief was portrayed. It was interesting to see how the main characters handled the situation, there were quite a few twists and in the plot and I was gripped to see how their story would unfold. Glad there was no cheesy Hollywood ending, the film was very natural in that sense. Excellent acting too.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?
Yes, having your own children makes you realise how precious life is, other parents would appreciate that aspect of the film. The film also shows life is not easy, although the characters had a great lifestyle they still faced hardship in real life situations. I think other parents would relate to that.

What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?
Yes. My friend who came with me is single and childless and also thoroughly enjoyed the film. I think it's a good film that can be enjoyed by everyone.

If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?
I wouldn't recommend it if anyone was feeling sad as it's such an emotional film

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?
Either

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?
About how a family copes with daily life after losing their son in car accident. It's about dealing with their grief and their struggle to get on with life, not knowing the answers and still hurting inside. There is some humour to prevent it from being a morbid film, and all done in tasteful, simplistic way.

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?
No, I tend not to get the DVD and watch a film twice unless it was completely amazing. I'd probably watch it if it came on tv though

Thanks MN!

Merrylegs Mon 31-Jan-11 20:46:03

I think this a brave and unusual Hollywood film which will probably struggle to find an audience. Which is a shame as it is thoughtful, beautifully acted (Dianne Wiest especially is just brilliant) and very brave actually.

It's understated, very sad and also surpisingly funny in places too. I liked the way it ended, very quietly. No big issues had been resolved, the grief was still ongoing, but the characters all seemed supportive of each other. I also liked the fact that there was no big 'journey' rather there were lots of little journeys and where one character might take a step forward, they would then take a step back.

I loved the scene with Wiest and Kidman in the basement. Despite the conflict, Becca had a lot to learn from her mother. That was probably the saddest and yet the most hopeful scene actually.

I would say that despite the subject matter, parents might see the hope in the film, whereas non parents might just find it depressing. (In fact those were the very words of some of the arty student types in the audience. 'Good, but depressing').

I'm glad I saw it at the cinema as it is a slow paced film and watching it at home on DVD I might well fall asleep. Having said that, I work in a library and I can see this being a very popular title to rent.

I would describe this film as a real treat, actually. It describes a family struggling to cope after the death of their child in an accident. Poignant obviously, but very watchable, thanks to the acting.

However there is one thing that spoilt it for me - pretty, pointy, ethereal Nicole Kidman seems to have gone to Acme Plastic Surgery and picked a no. 42 off the shelf. The whole way through I kept thinking "her kid's just died. When did she think to get Botox?!"
Such a shame.

Merrylegs Mon 31-Jan-11 20:52:51

ps meant to say thank you for the tickets!

pozzled Mon 31-Jan-11 21:06:44

What was your overall impression of the film? Anything you particularly liked or disliked?

I thought the film was really good although it made for quite uncomfortable viewing. I can't honestly say I 'enjoyed' it, but am glad I went to see it- thanks for the opportunity MN!

I thought the acting was excellent, not just from Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart (who were both very believable) but also from the supporting cast. I liked the way we got glimpses of the way the death had affected Becka's sister and mother, but always with the focus remaining on the two parents. I was expecting to see loads of flashbacks to the little boy in the happy family, and it surprised me that there weren't any. But I think that was absolutely right because it made it much more real- that Danny has gone forever. Another thing I liked was the ending, just the right amount of hope while acknowledging that nothing can change the past.

Can't think of many dislikes but I did find it quite upsetting at times.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?
What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?
If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not?

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?
Would rent it again but I wouldn't buy it.

I think if someone told me they were interested after seeing the trailer, I would encourage them to see it. It is certainly thought-provoking, gripping and beautifully shot. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who had never heard of it though because of the content- a bit too intense/upsetting for some. Whether or not someone was a parent wouldn't make much difference to me, but I would try to be very clear about how upsetting I found it, and let them decide for themselves.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?
Wait for the DVD, so you can pause it or come back to it later.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?
It's a poignant drama about a couple coming to terms with the loss of a child. Full of grief and raw emotion, but with a touch of humour and the odd ray of hope. It focuses on the different ways they cope and how the experience affects their relationship.

onehackedoffmuma Mon 31-Jan-11 21:34:48

Firstly, thank you to Mumsnet for organising the viewing and inviting me to the screening. Whilst I felt that Rabbit Hole was a very raw picture, I do believe the subject matter was handled extremely sensitively and realistically. My mother attended the viewing with me and as a parent who has lost a child, she felt that it explored the feelings of how both her and my father felt after the death of my sister.

I found Rabbit Hole’s timing slow but given the context of the film, I don’t think it would have worked in any other way. The pace of the film allows the audience to engage with the protagonists and feel the pain they are experiencing as a result of losing their son, Danny. For me, I'm glad Rabbit Hole didn’t have a traditional “Hollywood” ending, for example, it would have been all too easy to come to a 'resolute' ending for Howie and Becca if they had say conceived another child. Instead, it portrayed them as real human beings who are grieving for their son and that the feeling of loss never really goes away.

I think given the sensitive subject matter of the film, I would be considerate of who I would recommend the film to. I do believe that parents/families who have lost a child/loved one may find some comfort in watching the film, as it tackles issues gracefully minus a stereotypical blockbuster happy ending. Personally, I found comfort in the film as it helped me to understand in some way what my parents went through and what they have had to deal with since we lost my sister.

In terms of friends who aren’t parents, I think many people will be able to relate to the topics that the film handled such as loss, bereavement, death, coping strategies and relationships . So I wouldn’t necessarily think that the film wouldn't be of any relevance to those who don't have kids.

I probably would avoid recommending Rabbit Hole to friends that I think would find the subject matter too upsetting. As for where to view the film, I think it would be one to watch at home when you have some time to yourself or with a partner or friend. In my opinion, it probably wouldn’t be well received if you were thinking of having a social with some friends and popping a film on, it’s too intense and you really need to be able to engage with the film. In terms of the cinema, a small screen/intimate setting would be best as that way you feel that you are privvy to Becca and Howie’s world.

To sum up the film I would say it has a good grasp of the subject it is dealing with, it tackles the issues of bereavement, loss and relationships sensitively and the acting from the lead actors is certainly convincing.

I personally wouldn't buy the film now that I have seen it as I don't think it is something I would wish to view again. Whilst I think the acting is credible and the topics are handled with grace, it's not a film I would be likely to spontaneously watch or even share with others as the subject matter is very close to home.

I'm not sure whether this is the kind of information you are after but I hope it does help in some way. x

msbevvy Tue 01-Feb-11 08:25:57

I was worried this was going to be just another American tearjerker but I was very pleasantly suprised.

I shows how different people have to deal with their grief in different ways and that these ways do not always involve embracing some kind of religious belief that their loved one is "with the angels".

It is a film about a depressing subject but the film itself is not relentlessly depressing and there were even a few moments of laughter. No hankies needed for me.

tothesea Tue 01-Feb-11 11:22:08

I really enjoyed the film although I did leave the cinema feeling like i had been through the wringer!.
I am currently pregnant and also have son similar age to Danny in the film so it is unsurprising I found the film emotionally harrowing.
I would recommend others to see it but I would warn them beforehand that this is not a fun night out at the cinema film but I do think that most people I know would appreciate the delicacy and lightness of touch in the direction and the powerful nature of this film. I would recommend it to all as I would have enjoyed this as much as a childless person and don't think that really comes into it.
I feel most films are best viewed in the cinema but if people are embarrased to be upset in public then it would be best viewed on DVD. I know if I had watched this at home I would have howled, as it was I cried big fat tears at several points in the film.
I am not a Nicole Kidman fan but she was perfectly cast as Becca in this. It was fascinating to watch her in the gorgeous house, cooking, baking cakes, reading quietly, all so perfect and controlled, all the time knowing that there was this yawning great chasm of grief inside her. Then the unravelling... the middle class white lady slapping people in supermarkets, stalking Jason, the teenage boy who ran over her son, culminating in sitting outside his house watching him leave to go to his prom, his mum taking photo's, all laughing and happy. I found this a very powerful scene, all the grief and rage tumbling out.. her son will never have a prom.
I also enjoyed the very quiet contemplative scenes between her and the Jason. And that she seemed to find some comfort from them.
I have not really been aware of Alan Eckhart up to now but I thought he was excellent in this part. I found the scenes were he lost his temper (over the deletion of video on this phone and when Jason enters their house)very powerful. His anger is visercal and frightening. The film records beautifully the cool and tense relationship of the two central characters. And also the relationship between Becca and her mother. One of my favourite scenes is between the two of them in Becca's basement. Dianne Weist is brilliant as she gives the speech about dealing with loss. Very moving moment.
The film may not have a typical happy ending but it does end on a positive note as the couple seem to be starting to move on. The final scene were Becca takes Howies hand really sums up the understated nature of the whole film and I was glad it ended like that.
Thank you for the opportunity to see Rabbit Hole and yes I would watch it again but probably not for a while! Needless to say my partner and son got lots of hugs and kisses when I got home afterwards.

NancyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 01-Feb-11 12:01:17

I have to say, I really enjoyed it and was quite glad that it avoided SO MANY of the typical clichés, although I'm not sure if I would recommend it to people who don't enjoy an intense, emotional film. I particularly rate the way that the plot revealed itself without relying on flashback or stilted exposition, and as a result I was really sucked into the film, and the characters, their grief and their 'healing process' (awful term). I almost felt sad when it ended, I was so involved with the film, but the way the final scene rolled out was beautiful and really couldn't have been more perfect as a way to end the story.

Eckhart and Kidman were absolutely fantastic. In particular, Kidman's methods of showing just how much she was holding back from the brink, the entire time, in every single scene regardless of what she was doing, felt so spot on.

The lack of clear exposition - and having to piece together what happened from snippets the characters say - sort of makes it feel like we're also observing Kidman and Eckart's loss from the outside, like everyone they encounter in the film. There's a sense of massive empathy, awkwardness (so much cringing and pain, especially in the bowling scene) and almost morbid curiosity, because we want to ask 'what happened to your son, when did he die, how old was he, who's fault was it, what's going on' but we can't. We have to wait to find this out, which seems to echo what their friends/family experience in the film, making it extremely good at drawing you in, instead of just forcing you to watch extended painful scenes of wailing and abject misery. It's delicate, which is one of the best things about this film.

There was one scene in particular (the one where he's walking the dog), after having held back and feeling upset for some time, I admit I did completely lose the plot and started crying, and thought I might have to leave the room, I was sobbing so much all of a sudden! It was just really powerful. I also found myself thinking a lot about the scene that happens in the basement, with the baby clothes and the description of grief as a brick - it was very nicely done.

All in all, I'm not sure if I would buy the DVD or feel the need to watch it again, but I enjoyed it and am glad to have seen it.

Kalsha Tue 01-Feb-11 22:50:41

Thank you for the tickets. I'm sorry that due to unforseen circumstances, I couldn't go to see the film.

gertlush1 Wed 02-Feb-11 11:18:55

Whoops! I posted this on Sunday on the movie review section...

'Went to see Rabbit Hole this morning and really liked it. Was expecting something darker but there was a fair sprinkling of funnier moments. These balanced the subject matter really well but I thought also made the film true to life and carried you through to the realistic, but positive, end.

Lots of it rang true - I've got a 4 year-old boy and sobbed a bit when Nicole Kidman's character came across a cupboard with her son's lunchbox and a motley array of plastic character cups but laughed with the characters as they were clearing out his room and couldn't get his pesky electronic toys to shut up...grin

Really well-judged performances from the two leads and Dianne Wiest, especially. Nicole Kidman fitted the role brilliantly - motherhood is obviously dear to her heart. Was it just me or did her face look more lived-in than usual? Possibly eased off the beauty treatments to give an authentic representation of we careworn mums?!!'

FionaS77 Wed 02-Feb-11 21:46:15

I'm glad that I went to see this film, although it was quite harrowing and emotional. The subject matter of the film is every parents worst nightmare. My daughter is nearly the same age as Danny was in the film, which I think made the film all the more poignant to watch and I felt even more thankful for what I have.

The film is realy powerful and engaging, I was gripped all the way through.
I really like the way the two lead characters, Howie and Becca are on different pages regarding their grief. Howie's practical approach of wanting to attend the support group just doesn't work for Becca and she hates the "God talk". I liked the bit where a couple in the group are saying that "God needed another angel" and Kidman quite matter of factly says "well why didn't he just make one, he's God".
It was interesting to see Becca build a relationship with Jason. I enjoyed the contemplative conversations which they had and the way that Jason's theories gave Becca a different way to cope with her grief.

Kidman's performance is fantastic, extremely moving. I loved the conversations in the film between Becca and her mother and the way they sometimes brought some humour to the film. Dianne Wiest was superb.
Eckhart was able to display brilliantly the angry, brutally painful side to grief.

I would recommend this film to friends who are parents and those who are not parents, . However I would warn them that it is difficult viewing at times.

I don't think that this is a film which you would necessarily need to see at the cinema, although the big screen did enhance the really powerful emotions which the characters convey.
Personally it is a film which I would only want to see once so I wouldn't rent the film when it is released on DVD.

sunchild77 Thu 03-Feb-11 12:55:50

Ive already commented but had some more thoughts, from me and the girl friend I took to the viewing...

I thought it was good, more as a study of grief than a story as such. But i couldn't help getting distracted by Nicole's face. What's going on there? Her lips are all puffy and her nose looked too ergonomic... very distracting for actresses to mess with their faces like that, kind of detracts from all the emotional face-pulling they do in close-up. The boy was great though - the kid who was driving the car.

I did enjoy the film despite the sad storyline

vkwatson Thu 03-Feb-11 18:20:05

Thank you for the tickets, it was a real treat.

The acting in this film was excellent and very believable. from both 'becca' and 'Howie'.

Although it was a very sad subject it was not a depressing film, just seemed very real.
You were able to really get to know the characters. There were some funny moments in it as well as some very heartbreaking bits.

I would definately recommend it to friends, iin fact already have!

IlanaK Thu 03-Feb-11 18:54:01

What was your overall impression of the film?

I thought it was really well made and really enjoyed it.

Anything you particularly liked or disliked?

I really liked how it kept me guessing. It wasn't obvious at all what was going to happen.

Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? Why?

Yes, but only if they can handle the weeping.

What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Why?

Yes because it is a good film.

If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray?

Any of those.

How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it?

I would say that it is a drama about a couple who lose their child and have to find a way through the pain. I would also describe it as entertaining and thought provoking. And I would warn people that they will cry.

Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? Why?

No because I never do with any films.

Merrylegs Sat 05-Feb-11 19:30:24

Just to add- was talking about films with my mates (all mothers) recently and what we had all seen. I said I'd seen Rabbit Hole and they were all like 'urgh, that sounds horrid. Why would you want to see that?' I said no no, it was really good, despite the subject matter, but they weren't convinced. Think that is the problem this film will have. Which is a shame, actually.

Shitemum Sun 06-Feb-11 16:47:53

1. What was your overall impression of the film? I thought it was well-made and well-paced.
2. Anything you particularly liked or disliked? There was nothing I particularly disliked about the film, apart from it being sad, but I was expecting that. I liked the layers of meaning and the idea of parallel universes.
3. Would you recommend seeing the film to friends who are also parents? I would recommend it to anyone, parents or not.
4. Why? I think it would aid anyone’s attempts to understand the feelings of someone who has lost a child.
5. What about friends who are not parents, would you recommend it to them? Yes. Why? I’d recommend it to anyone.
6. If you wouldn't recommend it to anyone, why not? If you would recommend it, would you say it's a film people should see in the cinema, or would you say wait for the DVD or blu ray? I think there are scenes which gain from being seen on the big screen. Such as the scene where the couple are shouting at each other.
7. How would you describe the film to someone who knew nothing about it now that you've seen it? It’s a film about a couple whose child has been killed in an accident some months earlier. It’s about their relationship with each other and also with other people and family members. It’s worth seeing, I’m glad I saw it even tho parts of it were hard to watch.
8. Do you think you'd buy or rent the film on DVD or blu ray now that you've seen it? No Why? I don’t buy films.

onadifferentplanettoday Sun 06-Feb-11 20:07:33

If you're the sort of person that cries at films then don't expect to be let off with this one. You may need to expect a slow build up of emotion throughout though, as opposed to a one off massive sob!
The film deals with a distressing subject matter extremely well and sensitively. If you're looking for a laugh-a-minute, easy watch then it's not for you. If however you want to see a superbly acted/directed story that's really going to make you think then do go see it. The characters really draw you in and are very believable, it's not just emotion for emotion's sake, you feel almost involved in the story. There are moments of humour that provide brief respite, yet do not detract from the powerful storyline. It is a very harrowing topic, and I could see that the portrayal could be too intense for some if the subject matter is too close to home.
It's a thought-provoking film that stays with you throughout the day, despite this and the roller-coaster of emotions it will take you through I would recommend it to others.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Feb-11 19:02:49

Many thanks for adding your reviews.

Am pleased to say the winners are as follows:
3rdnparty wins the annual Cineworld pass for 2 and the runners up (each winning a pair of cinema tickets are): vbus, gertlush1i, sunchild77, malinkey and nineyearoldsarerude

Emails are on their way smile

Biblioqueen Wed 09-Feb-11 19:04:02

As parents who lost a child ourselves (a stillborn baby boy, different but still a loss) we were a bit apprehensive about seeing the film, but found that it was sensitive and perceptive portrayal of a particular kind of grief that we knew can be so excruciatingly unremitting and all-consuming, and also so divisive.

Nicole K was very convincing - the lack of hysteria was refreshing. and the relationship between NK and the teenager was incredibly poignant and authentic - and unexpected. I didn't think it was bleak, maybe a bit uncomfortable at times, but this was transcended by the sensitive character portrayals. I'd recommend it (and have done, but maybe not to newly-bereaved parents, too raw) as a real window on the frustration and chasm that can open between two grieving parents. I identified with some of what was on screen, definitely, because of my experience, and it brought back feelings from 20 years ago for me, but not in a bad way, which might sound odd. It was good to see both the mother and the father's point of view and approach to mourning treated equally in parallel, a very successful filmic strategy.

I wouldn't see it again on DVD - it was really good at the cinema (never been to Empire, very plush and uber-comfy seats- thanks, Mumsnet). Wish people hadn't been crunching popcorn through the most harrowing bits though

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