A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this affecting play-based dramedy starring Nicole Kidman explores the aftermath of a profound loss -- parents mourning the accidental death of their young son. It’s unflinching and, thanks to that brutal honesty, may be too heavy and hard to watch for younger viewers. There’s also some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k"), pot smoking, and discussion about sex and a child’s death.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It’s been eight months since Becca and Howie Corbett's (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) 4-year-old son ran into the street chasing the family dog and was hit by a car driven by a high school student (Miles Teller). He did not survive. Neither did his parents -- emotionally, that is. Becca can’t bear to be reminded of him; Howie can’t let him go. And now their marriage lies in tatters, each unable to find comfort in the other. A support group for parents like them turns Becca off and has Howie venturing into uneasy territory. Becca’s desperate for connection, but with whom?
Is it any good?
Kidman is impressive as the wounded Becca, who won’t let anyone attend to her pain. She’s prickly and unpredictable, and her heartbreak is deeply felt despite her attempts to dismiss it. Her scenes with the incomparable Diane Wiest are a joy to watch, if only to see them play mother and daughter with such realism and knowing. Eckhart surprises with a vulnerability we rarely get to see him display, and Teller is memorable as a teenager trying to find his way back to a happier life. A few moments work too hard to evoke emotion -- the scene in the supermarket, for instance, when Becca is shocked at her own display of rage -- but those are, thankfully, the exceptions.
Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, RABBIT HOLE turns its viewers into witnesses of a marriage at a crossroads: Can their grief cannibalize their marriage, their selves? It’s a weighty question that the film embraces, beautifully. Rather than provide audiences with the expected portraits of anguish, it aims for an unvarnished and messy truth -- difficult to categorize, stunning to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the movie tackles the subjects of grief and loss. Does it seem different from other movies?
What is the movie's ultimate message? Do you consider the characters to be positive role models? Why or why not?
Why do Becca and Howie have trouble supporting each other through their grief? Does their experience seem realistic?
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