Last night PJ and I finally saw Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple, Becca and Howie, whose lives are turned upside down after their young son, Danny, dies in an accident. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell, this film starts 8 months after the accident and examines how parents grieve under such awful circumstances. Here’s the trailer:

I loved this film. I had been a little hesitant to watch it, since I felt that watching a movie about grieving parents would be anything but fun. But Rabbit Hole surprised me with its quiet beauty. The word that came to mind after seeing it is “restrained.” There’s a beautiful restraint to this movie that really appeals to me.

Kidman’s restraint is probably what makes this movie so good. A lesser actress might have been tempted to do more obvious actorly things to convey Becca’s overwhelming sense of loss. But Kidman keeps her grief quiet and inwardly focused, slowing consuming her with its magnitude. Kidman is also not afraid to play unlikeable characters. Becca is brittle and in pain, making everyone around her uncomfortable. Nothing they do is right, and Becca lets them know it at every turn.