Rabbit Hole premiered last night at the Toronto Film Festival and was received with a standing ovation. Critics are raving about Nicole Kidman’s performance as a woman dealing with the grief of a terrible loss.
The film, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, of Shortbus controversial fame, is an adaptation of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, who also wrote the script for the movie. Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest star as Kidman’s husband and mother (obviously, respectively).
After winning the Oscar for The Hours, Kidman has delivered a couple of really good performances, most notably in Dogville, Margot at the Wedding and Birth (my favourite Kidman performance ever, followed closely by To Die For), but has mostly played in a string of potentially interesting but ultimately disappointing films like Cold Mountain, The Stepford Wives, Bewitched, Fur, The Invasion, Australia and Nine. Although still an alluring star, her career was clearly in decline.
This role could be a comeback for her, with critics at Toronto already talking about a career best and about her Oscar chances.
It looks like it’s going to be a fiercely competitive year in the Best Actress category, with Kidman stepping in an already overcrowded list with Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Lesley Manville, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman and Naomi Watts.
Here’s the first available clip of Rabbit Hole, which features two scenes of the film. First, an impressive showdown between Kidman and Wiest (a mother and daughter who have dealt with the same traumatic experience), and then a group therapy scene with Kidman, Eckhart and Grey Anatomy’s Sandra Oh.