Here's a trailer for Rabbit Hole, the dead-kid drama based on the Pulitzer-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire. Nicole Kidman steps into the role that won Cynthia Nixon a Tony on Broadway, plus Aaron Eckhart shows up for some moping.
Unfortunately I didn't see the play when it was taking New York by storm several years ago, but from what I understand the script is actually laced with a lot of cathartic, occasionally jarring humor. I'd expect nothing less from Lindsay-Abaire, the author of more gonzo works like Fuddy Meers and Kimberly Akimbo. Plus there's the intriguing presence of director John Cameron Mitchell, who takes an unexpected veer into the mainstream, after outre projects like the porno-lite Shortbus and the Weimar-by-way-of-Cold-War transsexual musical extravaganza Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I'm curious to see what he does with more straightforward material.
Once again Ms. Kidman is a bit elusive. Has that face slackened up a little bit since last we saw it try to emote in Australia? Will that clipped, breathy voice of hers be a strong enough vessel for outpourings of grief and rage? There's no doubt that Kidman is a fine actress, but she's not exactly a chameleon. Certain roles fit her really well, while others find her looking a bit too frightened or injured. And Aaron Eckhart, such a square-jawed quaterback of an actor (losing some roles to Jon Hamm these days, I'll bet), doesn't always play well in sincere dramas. Usually his corny good looks and superhero voice need to be offset by some irony, lest the whole package be a bit too Ken doll.
Anyway, the film was well-received in Toronto, which is what earned it its Oscar-contention release date. Previously this looked, finally, to be Annette Bening's year to win the big one, but will Kidman come along and gum up the works? Oscar season, and dead-kid season, is upon us!