Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

22 March 2011

How to Move Forward

I am not completely sure what I was expecting from Rabbit Hole. But whatever it was, John Cameron Mitchell's film was nothing like what I expected it to be.

I have never been a fan of David Lindsay-Abaire's play Rabbit Hole (though I have loved his other stuff). And I was irritated when it won the Pulitzer Prize (that committee, it seems, has no idea what it is doing). The play felt too simple to me, too interested in itself, too preachy.
I should have known JCM would craft something with a totally different tone when he went to make the movie. Rabbit Hole feels like something of a departure for him after his first too films, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus (both of which are genius).

The film of Rabbit Hole is pitch perfect. There is, quite honestly, not a false note in the whole thing, and the performances are really wonderful. Nicole Kidman and Dianne Weist and Aaron Eckhart and Miles Teller are simply lovely. And we grow to understand these people; the medium of film allows their grief to seep into the audience more slowly, so that when they do the things they do and say the things they say it all makes a sort of sense—a sense that felt to me almost like a memory.

This is all coming across in a rather incoherent manner. The movie is very sad—at one point I stopped hearing what was happening in the movie because I was crying too much—so I am not actually going to recommend Rabbit Hole to anyone. I found it very moving, and it closes with a perfect prescription for a way to keep going after tragedy.