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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


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...

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 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.

IfYoureHappyAndYouKnowIt Mon 31-Jan-11 13:23:12

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!

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