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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


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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?!!'

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

ps meant to say thank you for the tickets!

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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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


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.

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!

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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