My high holy days have arrived with the opening of the 33rd Starz Denver International Film Festival. 10 days/16 films/plenty of variety. Last night's film, Rabbit Hole, marked the opening of the festival. The film, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and Dianne Weist, is an adaption of the Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire (who also worked on the screenplay for the film). Both John Cameron Mitchell and Aaron Eckhart were there for the screening, participating in a Q&A with The Denver Post's Lisa Kennedy following the film.
The film examines the struggling marriage of Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) as they grapple with their grief and relationship eight months after the tragic death of their young son (killed in an automobile accident). A mix of uncomfortable silence marked with a lot of tension, anger, laughter, and pain, the film places you in their world as they attempt to sort out how to begin living again. Becca escapes her reality by stalking and then establishing an odd relationship with Jason, a teenage comic book creator who was the driver of the car that killed her son; Howie finds solace smoking pot and hanging out with Gabby (Sandra Oh), a founder of a support group for grieving parents.
"Does it ever go away" asks Becca to her mom, who also has experienced the loss of a child, Becca's brother.
Her mom responds "No, at some point it becomes bearable." It's this transition from the heavy weight of unbearable grief, to a life that will always be marked by loss yet is still livable, that marks the film's journey.