RABBIT HOLE as a great contrast to last night's film, BLUE VALENTINE. It cleansed my palette. Both films show the degeneration of a relationship, and both have top-notch actors in the film, but other than that, they are grossly different.
I was thinking more about what was wrong with BLUE VALENTINE today and realized that the gimmick of inter-cutting the two time-lines actually got in the way of the story instead of making it better. It would probably be a much better movie told linearly. And you cut half an hour out of it. Except that you would then notice that there was absolutely no reason for their relationship to fall apart.
Also I realised while watching that much of that film was obviously improvised, which is generally not a good thing. Filmmakers often think something is brilliant when they see their actors improvise, and leave it in the film, when audiences expect dialogue that is not trite and is better thought out than an actor could make up on the spot. Structure and discipline are good things when making a movie.
RABBIT HOLE was clearly made by professionals. The film looked and sounded fantastic. The relationships were clearly defined, and all of the emotional changes were motivated. Really, is this too much to ask for in a film? Granted, it was based on a play, so plenty of thought had gone into character, structure and dialogue long before it was a film, but it's a nice relief to see a film that makes sense.
The film does have flaws; it's inherently depressing, it takes itself too seriously at times (the few laughs in the film are very welcome) and the ending seems to pop up out of nowhere. But it certainly did not overstay its welcome.
Recommended if you can deal with the tragedy.