Yes, No, Maybe So: "Rabbit Hole"

Posted by julian On 11:30 AM
I probably need to start covering movies I'm not absolutely drooling for in this yes, no, maybe so trailer series. It gets hard to pick the "no" and "maybe" elements for a film like, say, this one here...

John Cameron Mitchell's RABBIT HOLE will hit theaters, albeit only a few of them we're guessing, on December 17th, a date obviously chosen with the perception that it will maximize Oscar prospects.

YES I am, for better or worse, what is known as a "fan" which is to say, once I love something, it tends to be intense (hair pulling excitement, joyful weeping... metaphorically speaking!) and it takes a lot for that love to die out . The word "fan" used to have both negative and positive connotations but now, I suppose, with the invention of the terms "fanboy" and "fangirl", the simpler word "fan" has lost some of its negative connotations.  So I'm okay. I'm still discerning. Unless you think I'm a closer to a Kidman "fanboy" in which case, well, yeah, maybe but shut up -- [hyperventilating, crying] She is awesome!

NO Grief as Major Theme is tricky to pull off. There are all sorts of movie potholes on that journey: pornographic actorly histrionics, pandering "everything happens for a reason!" sentimentality, monotony of tone, boredom of plot. Plus the best work in this genre is nearly impossible to live up to. The best grief dramas are always French (Ponette and Trois Coleurs: Bleu) or are one hour long and found in really unexpected places ("The Body"). But it could be I am just overly touchy on this subject because it cuts too close to the bone when it's sharp. When it's dull, it just makes an awful mess of an important and universal topic. I hope this one is sharp, even though that means it'll hurt more.

MAYBE SO Ever since I heard about the artistic teenager that becomes intermingled with the grieving family, I was curious about how John Cameron Mitchell, who proved a very visual director in his first two features (Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch), would work that in. I'm pleased to note that the marketing team has used it as a sort of guiding motif in the trailer. I love the linear drawing emphasizing the Academy Award titling, don't you? It somehow seems more playful -- and the Oscars should be cuz they're fun! -- than the boring title cards we usually get when studios want you to know that "A PRESTIGE MOVIE IS COMING!"

Even if this movie didn't have such great festival buzz and Best Actress hype, I would still be a YES as all three principle actors are people I either obsessively love (Kidman) have loved ever since I can remember and always will (Wiest) or generally quite like (Eckhart).

But maybe your reaction veers far off in some other direction? Are you a yes, no or a maybe so when it comes to Rabbit Hole and why?

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