Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire
This is a film that was hardly on my radar had it not been for awards season. It has some nice people involved. Nicole Kidman has never done anything to draw all of my attention, but I respect her chops. Aaron Eckhart has always been interesting to me if nothing else. But then there is Dianne Wiest, who seems to always be about the best thing about anything she is involved in. So when Kidman got nominated for her performance, and I wanted to see everything nominated, I decided what could be the worst that happens by seeing it.
The film is quite the drag. Becca (Kidman) and Howie (Eckhart) are a couple in mourning at the tragic, accidental death of their young son. Hmmm…yea, that just about sums up the plot of the film. It is not too deep or complex, but the emotions and manner in which each character deals with their grief is. Quite honestly this film made me uncomfortable at times. There is a scene or two of overacting or instances where the actions of the characters are embarrassingly over the top, but then again I have never lost a four year old son, so what do I know? I was also put off by the status of the characters. Not that it should matter, but I was annoyed by the fact that they lived in a giant house in the suburbs of New York, were obviously loaded, and Becca was a stay at home mom with no kid anymore. Meanwhile her sister is a trouble maker who is pregnant with a musician’s child who has just broken up with his ex-girlfriend. And the whole “group” thing turned me off to.
Basically there were lots of things that felt off to me and didn’t work. But on the bright side, the performances were all quite good, even if Kidman shouldn’t have been nominated. And once again, the Dianne Wiest theory holds up once more. But I’ll be darned if the third act of this film wasn’t near perfect and brought me completely back on board with the film. It was so emotionally strong and hot every note so well. This film is one of those that I cannot forgive its problems and still call it a great film, but I can recognize its strengths and the things it did right and still call it a good one.