Go Down the Rabbit Hole With Nicole Kidman

From theater to film, an adaptation that works

It is an ambitious endeavor to turn a play or musical — especially one that won a Pulitzer Prize — into a film. Sometimes the efforts are successful, as with Doubt or Angels in America (for HBO); but other times, they just feel flat, like Rent or Proof. Fortunately, Rabbit Hole is an example of the former.

Rabbit Hole is the story of a couple (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) dealing with the tragic death of their young child. While this is not new subject matter, the screenplay, adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own play, provides real moments of heartbreak (Kidman confronting another mother in a grocery store; Eckhart trying to assist a real estate agent selling their house) and humor (a wonderful scene between Kidman and her mother, played by the stupendous Dianne Wiest).

With the talented cast, an articulate script, and the concise, quiet direction of James Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), Rabbit Hole is a difficult, but captivating film. (In theaters December 25th.)

My Grade: B+

Oscar Watch: Potential nominations for Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Actor (Aaron Eckhart), Best Supporting Actress (Diane Wiest), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.