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Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

By Patrick Samuel • June 20th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Metrodome Distribution 

Release date: June 20th, 2011
Certificate (UK): 12
Running time: 87 minutes

Director: John Cameron Mitchell

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Sandra Oh, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard

For years I’ve kept my mind open to the possibilities of parallel universes, so much so that I took to referring to them simply as “multiverses”. Just the idea that somewhere out there in an infinite number of worlds there are other versions of me each following different paths.

And somewhere out there, among these worlds is one that’s absolutely perfect. Rabbit Hole, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and based on his Broadway play, is a film produced by Nicole Kidman. It takes this idea, and although it doesn’t form the entire basis for the movie, it keeps it close to its heart.

Rabbit Hole

Kidman stars alongside Aaron Eckhart as Becca and Howie Corbett, a once happily married couple. Their lives are destroyed when their four-year-old son is killed in a road accident outside their house eight months before and they’re each struggling in their own ways to deal with the loss.

While Howie goes to work and tries to continue with life, Becca shuts herself away at home, busying herself with gardening and exercising. She’s desperate to get rid of her son’s clothes, pictures and even sell the house because she can still hear him and see his fingerprints on the door handles, but Howie clings tightly to his memories, haunted by the sound of him laughing and playing with the family dog they’ve now given away. They try group therapy, going out with the neighbours, even their families try to help, but Becca and Howie just aren’t the same anymore and never will be. At least not in this version of themselves…

Rabbit Hole

So they start to do things separately. Howie forms a friendship with a married woman from the group therapy sessions, they hang out together and smoke pot and it cheers him up to the point where he considers having an affair. Becca becomes obsessed with a teenage boy, Jason (Miles Teller), and through him she comes to learn about the idea of parallel universes and it gives her comfort. The thought that there could be a version of herself who’s having a better time is something she finds calming.

It’s surprising how natural it all works in Rabbit Hole. Grief, awkward moments of silence and bittersweet laughter commingle in a way that makes you believe these characters are real. Even their monotonous home routines ring true like when Becca reminds Howie that dinner is almost ready as he’s about to take a shower. But what’s surprising most of all is the way Fred Alan Wolf’s book Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds (1988) is woven into the story.

Rabbit Hole

Wolf is a theoretical physicist who specialises in quantum physics and the relationship between physics and consciousness. While his theories are considered to be on the fringes of mainstream science, there’s no denying how strong the pull of the idea of parallel worlds can be for someone like Becca when all else seems to be failing.

Films are rarely surprising these days day, but Rabbit Hole is an exception to that rule. Aside from engaging and emotional performances from Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest (as Becca’s mother), the story is a courageous one to tackle which could so easily have gone the way of melodrama we’re used to with soap operas, but in this version, it doesn’t.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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