Making the most of her inherent, imposing frostiness, Nicole Kidman is a blank page as Becca, a suburban soccer mom whose beloved four-year-old son has recently died in a car accident, leaving her utterly disconnected from the world, particularly husband Howie (Aaron Eckhart). While Becca imprisons herself in icy solitude, Howie tries to find a way out of his grief through counselling sessions, hard work, soft drugs and a fleeting flirtation with the ever-watchable Sandra Oh. But his life can’t return to anything approaching normality until Becca finds the strength to open up.
The problem with ‘Rabbit Hole’ is that it plays at one unrelentingly gloomy frequency: occasional moments of humour or tension are simply unable to puncture the overriding sense of oppressive sadness. Our feelings towards Becca and Howie are constantly challenged and upended, but however much we understand them, we never come to like them. This is almost certainly as Mitchell intended, but it does make for a muted, unsatisfying experience.