Archive for the ‘Sandra Oh’ Category

Rabbit Hole

25 Feb

Rabbit Hole — directed by John Cameron Mitchell – melodrama: a couple’s career through grief for a dead child.  91 minutes color 2010.


Rabbit Hole plays like A Guidebook For Grief Therapy, and as such, as a series of “customary” moves, the screenplay is paltry. It plays like a statistic. No actor, no matter how demonically inspired, can lift the lid off of such routine writing. In the big confrontation scene: neither actor can break free of the banality of the lines; they both hit a very low concrete ceiling, and are fantastically monotonous. Naturally, there are side compensations when you have actors of this genius and experience before your eyes. Nicole Kidman plays the whole first part of the story with something going on with her lower lip. What she is holding in is a mortal bitterness. She is always watchable; one is always drawn to her. But Aaron Eckhart, bears o relation to her, for once again he is miscast in a leading man role. Like Leonardo de Caprio he is not a leading man. He is a character lead, which is quite different. He is brilliant in such roles, but a leading man requires a different inner life and a different inborn gift. Richard Widmark began in films the same way Eckhart has – playing maniacs, one after another, brilliantly, and then insisting on being cast as a leading man, or, at least, let us say, a man faithful to his suburban wife. Eckhart should probably do Shakespeare for the next ten years, for, as a leading man, he does not stick to the ribs. Dianne Wiest is riveting as the lower class mother of Kidman; she can give weight to the most prosaic script and does so here. And then we have the great Sandra Oh! Aha! She plays a woman in a Grief Workshop, and her scenes with Eckhart are simply killing. I have never seen an actress of such registration. Her long oval Japanese face is like an ancient and immovable drawing which come to life in the subtlest of ripples. Her scene with Eckhart smoking dope in a parked car is smashing. Give this woman an Oscar for goodness sake. Talent of this order belongs on a postage stamp. And in front of you in a movie theatre. The film is drab, and does not accord with its director’s imaginative temperament.  So go, for the female performances. If I have splattered the screen for its cheap and easy script, and for the routinization of the loss of a child, well, that is a well-deserved public dishonor. It has not shed its disgrace on those performing it.

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