September 13, 2010

Nicole Kidman And Rabbit Hole At Toronto International Film Festival


Anne Thompson: JC Mitchell's Rabbit Hole boasts strong perfs from Kidman and Wiest, especially. Straight-on four-hankie drama. Distribs weighing offers.

Showbiz 411

Deal news from the Toronto Film Festival: LionsGate is said to want “Rabbit Hole,” the very fine comedy-drama from John Cameron Mitchell. Nicole Kidman is sublime in the film, which could make the Oscar deadline if everything is worked out. I am told that New York entertainment financier Norton Herrick may put in the necessary funds to make this happen. Dianne Wiest would be up for her third Best Supporting nomination if this all goes to plan…


A reader kindly emailed us to let us know that directors David Cronenberg, Norman Jewison, and Stephen Daldry all attended the premiere of Rabbit Hole!

After the second screening of Rabbit Hole today (9/14), there was a Q&A session with Nicole, John Cameron Mitchell, Aaron Eckhart, Miles Teller, and screenwriter David Lindsay Abaire. Hopefully more quotes/pics from that session later.

The Rabbit Hole Press Conference has not been posted yet but the introductions from last night's screening are now available HERE


From Nicole's official website....

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Many of you have asked about my film “Rabbit Hole.” I am currently at the Toronto International Film Festival where we are showing it to an audience for the first time. This is the first project that I was involved in as a producer as well as an actress, so it’s very dear to my heart. I’m excited to share with you these two clips. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed making it.

Also, as always, I encourage you all to support UNIFEM and Say NO – UNiTE by signing the petition on this site (if you haven’t done so already) and visiting to create or join an action to further this cause.

With love and appreciation,

[embedding disabled by request]



TIFF Review: Nicole Kidman And Dianne Wiest Shine In Elegant Rabbit Hole

Adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Rabbit Hole bears its theatrical roots in mostly good ways-- the highly literary writing, the emotionally fraught scenes stacked up on top of each other, the small cast of characters. Director John Cameron Mitchell, making a major change of pace from the likes of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus, opens the story up to the screen without ever overdoing it, emphasizing the oppressive architecture of a lonely house or the power of a silent moment. Most importantly, he leaves room for his stupendous actors to take over, and if Rabbit Hole feels a little more neat and contained than a movie ought to be, the performances almost entirely make up for it.

Leading the charge is Nicole Kidman, portraying a grieving mom with the kind of restraint we're accustomed to seeing from her, but with an added acerbic bite and sarcasm that feels very new. Her Becca lost her 4-year-old son Danny in a car accident 8 months earlier, and Becca and her husband Howie (Aaron Eckhart) have moved on only in the sense that they're pretending to the world that they're OK. Howie tries to find solace in a support group, which Becca finds too sentimental and religious, reaching out instead to the teenage driver (Miles Teller) who killed Danny, and both return home to their sprawling suburban New York home not to ignore each other, exactly, but persistently skirt around the looming figure of their dead son.

While any number of important things happen to Becca and Howie during Rabbit Hole, including Becca's sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard) getting pregnant and their decision to sell their house, the movie is much more about the aftermath of the life-changing event, revealing these characters and their pain in small moments and decisions. There's a lot less screaming and crying here than you're expecting, and even a little humor as these two learn daily how to move on; instead of wallowing together, Becca and Howie are bumping up against the rest of the world alone, a terrible decision for their relationship but a far more interesting one to watch.

Not everything in Rabbit Hole avoids cliche-- the one screaming and crying scene between Becca and Howie feels a little forced, and Howie's budding friendship with a fellow support group member (Sandra Oh) isn't sketched out enough to provide more than rote "will they or won't they?" tension. And while Lindsay-Abaire's writing can put too fine a point on things in some scenes, it frequently takes your breath away with its insight; playing Becca's mother, Dianne Wiest delivers a monologue about grief that is all the more stunning for how simply and succinctly she presents it.

Much like fellow Broadway adaptation Doubt before it, Rabbit Hole will be treated more as an actor's showcase when it inevitably enters the Oscar race either this year or next, though Cameron Mitchell's restrained, elegant work is impressive precisely for how little you notice it. Kidman is the true standout here, outmatching Eckhart scene-by-scene to the point that it's almost a problem, but Wiest is also terrific in her quiet but key role. Though Rabbit Hole is in some way yet another story about grieving rich white people (and not as good as, say, In the Bedroom), it's a pretty exceptional example of the form, and if nothing else an opportunity for actors we love to get out there and impress us again.


'Rabbit Hole'


Grief may be the topic under examination, but humor -- incisive, observant and warm -- is the tool with which it's dissected in "Rabbit Hole," a refreshingly positive-minded take on cinema's ultimate downer: overcoming the death of a child. Adroitly expanded from the legit hit by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (its original, Pulitzer-winning author) and director John Cameron Mitchell, "Rabbit Hole" fittingly offers a parallel-universe variation on what Broadway auds saw, with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart delivering expert, understated performances as the pic's central couple. A savvy distrib should have no trouble steering this quality drama through a healthy kudo season release.
Eight months have passed since the accidental death of the Corbetts' 4-year-old son, Danny, and the New York couple, Howie (Eckhart) and Becca (Kidman), still feel their lives dominated by the loss. Even the pic's opening gesture, a metaphorical sign of regrowth that finds Becca laboring in her garden, is set back when a well-meaning neighbor tramples one of her freshly planted seedlings -- no matter how hard she tries, the healing is hard. Each has a different way of coping: Howie holds on to all that reminds him of Danny, while Becca wants to sell the house and move on.

This is familiar territory, movingly explored countless times before, though "Rabbit Hole" is refreshingly light on the loss itself. With the exception of one unnecessary, agonizing flashback late in the film, everything takes place in the healing space of the present. But instead of moving on as they should, Howie and Becca seem to be shutting down certain parts of themselves (they haven't had sex since the accident, for example, and Danny's dog has been sent into exile with Becca's mother, played by Dianne Wiest). Just as the birth of a child can strengthen certain unstable relationships, a death threatens to permanently come between even the best-matched couple.

With the larger canvas of the screen at his disposal, Lindsay-Abaire deepens several key relationships. An offhand mention of the God-freaks in group therapy becomes a full-blown subplot, as Becca rejects the collective sharing sessions, where participants appear to be competing for some sort of saddest-story prize. (Empathy, as whenever her mother evokes the death of a junkie uncle, inevitably sets Becca on edge.) While Howie continues going to therapy alone, bonding with "professional wallower" Gaby (Sandra Oh, in an effective role created for the film), Becca reaches out to a teenage boy (Miles Teller) whose facial scars seem to explain what the character doesn't at first.

While Lindsay-Abaire endeavors to open up the action, director Mitchell uses the screen to make the material more intimate, privileging auds with closeups vital to our understanding of the characters. At first, "Rabbit Hole" may seem a radical departure from his more scandalous earlier work (gender-bending rock opera "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and explicit sex drama "Shortbus"); where those films felt transgressive, "Rabbit Hole" is polite, the production itself as neatly manicured as the Corbetts' Pottery Barn-perfect lives. On closer inspection, what all three projects share is the helmer's insistence on raw, unsimulated emotion.

In Kidman's case, it's nice to see the actress' lately immovable forehead participating in her performance, with subtle, almost imperceptible fluctuations in her carefully guarded facade allowing us to follow as Becca tumbles down the rabbit hole of her own emotions. Eckhart gets a couple of big shouting scenes, but the actor manages to convey just as much in Howie's quietly injured moments. A new scene, in which Howie awkwardly attempts to show prospective homebuyers Danny's room, perfectly balances melancholy and humor, while seemingly mundane details -- struggling to use an iPhone, checking on a cake in the backseat -- ground the characters in reality.

"It's a sad play. Don't make it any sadder than it needs to be," Lindsay-Abaire advised potential theater directors in the author's note to his play. Mitchell, whose own career began onstage, respects the writer's wishes, and with the exception of the aforementioned flashback, he shrewdly keeps the mood tipped toward the positive. Anton Sanko's Arvo Part-esque score, all introspective pianos and strings, encourages us to feel without forcing a reaction, while fleeting progression shots of a comicbook in progress enrich the payoff of the play's self-defining scene.

Seattle Times - Popcorn & Prejudice Movie Blog

Moira Macdonald

"TORONTO: Saw my last TIFF'10 movie this morning, and it was a stunner: "Rabbit Hole," the screen adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire's prizewinning play about a couple coping with the death of their child, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Nothing Mitchell has previously done on screen -- the raucous musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the sweet though uneven sex-drenched "Shortbus" -- gave any indication that he could make a movie like this: a quiet, devastating, beautifully acted drama about the devastation of loss and the slow, muted, barely-there return of hope. Lindsay-Abaire wrote the screenplay adaptation, and did it so well that I would never have guessed this was once a play; there's none of the obvious "opening-out" that we see too often in plays-turned-movies. Kidman and Eckhart are beautifully believable as a couple who, eight months after their four-year-old's death in a car accident, are weary of grief, but can't summon the energy for anything else -- Kidman, in particular, redeems herself after a string of disappointing movies in the last few years. Watch for Oscar buzz for her in this role, as soon as this movie gets picked up for distribution."

Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole

Indulge me a moment for an editorial note? I’d like to remind our readers that we don’t neglect or postpone featuring movies like Rabbit Hole because we’re not interested. We are. But without clips, without trailers, without even a poster, what are we to say? “Sounds possibly promising”? Don’t I already cover enough dead-end casting red-herrings without letting rumors and hearsay about unseen movies infiltrate the items I post? Ordinarily, the only time I’ll try to generate personally hopeful promotion for a movie I haven’t seen is when I know and admire the source material or screenplay. (The Town has been one of those unknowable long-shots for me this year, and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that I’m out on a limb that won’t snap or fall flat in a couple of days. In fact, as of now, it’s prospects are looking sturdier than ever.) With its Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award honors The Rabbit Hole easily qualifies under those criteria. We get reader requests to cover individual movies we know very little about. But we usually can’t write anything meaningful about a visual art form until we have something to see. When we get evidence, when we read reviews, when we finally see something with our own eyes — then we can begin to feel more confident. When the rumors turn into something tangible, then we feel justified trying to stir up some genuine interest. For most of the pre-season, all we have to go on are names — specifically, name-brand talents. And we evaluate those names on the basis of recent performance. It’s not even about who won an Oscar 5 or 10 years ago. It’s about “what have you done for me lately,” right? A string of disappointments can gradually cool off our most heated passions for favorite actors or directors. Then they have to win us back. And some never do. I want Nicole Kidman to win me back, and it looks like Rabbit Hole might be the kind of role to ensure she does it. How lucky would we be if every movie we see for the rest of year had scenes as well-written and performed with such self-assured nuance as this clip here? (thanks to Mildred for bringing this gem to our attention). A powerful clip like this eliminates the need to rely on the résumés of directors and stars (though in this case, those résumés and pedigrees are rock solid.) What’s on screen speaks for itself, and from this brief peek Rabbit Hole looks like ripe and potent stuff. This time of year there’s a distinct division of labor between Sasha’s front-and-center expertise racking up the big pictures (and the Big Picture), and me setting up the assists, being trusted to handle knocking off spares in the frame or circling around the back nine to pick up lost balls. Yes, we’re heavily focused on coverage of the consensus Top 10s. But I’d be derelict in my duties if I didn’t give the same care and attention to less prominent potential winners like The Town and Rabbit Hole too. Will the ultimate fortunes of either of these films add up to any awards? Too soon to say. But at least we can feel comfortable that we haven’t forgotten to prop them on display the main page for your thoughtful consideration."

'Rabbit Hole' Digs Up Deep Emotion

For John Cameron Mitchell's third feature he's moved away from profiling the kinds of characters that populated "Hedwig & The Angry Inch" and "Shortbus" and instead delves into the domestic turmoil of an upper middle class family. Based on the play by David Lindsay-Abaire and adapted for the screen by the playwrite himself, "Rabbit Hole" explores the lasting wounds caused by the loss of a loved one and the unsteady road that must be taken to heal.

The story begins eight months after Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) have lost their son Danny. Over the course of the film's opening frames we piece together what their life is like now. Becca has recoiled into herself, plagued by the memories of their son that still fill their home, from the paintings on the fridge to the clothes and furniture in his bedroom. Howie seems trapped in the past, watching his favorite video of his son on his phone every night and even unable to remove the child seat from his car.

Attempts to attend group therapy are unsuccessful. While Howie is willing to give it a shot, Becca is put off by the God talk by some group members and perpetual state of grief many of the attendees seem to be in. As for her family, her mother (Dianne Wiest) who lost her own son tries to sympathize but always seems to say the wrong thing, while Becca's sister's (Tammy Blanchard) pregnancy causes mixed feelings as well.

But don't be fooled, "Rabbit Hole" is not just about the emotional rupture caused by the sudden passing of a child; it's also about the emotional, social and even sexual upheaval it causes. For Becca, we learn of her former big city career, and now that motherhood has been snatched cruelly away from her, she's unmoored in her own home. She bakes endlessly and keeps up the appearance of a good housewife though struggling to reorient her life. As for Howie, he desperately wants things to back go normal or at least feel some kind of connection to his wife again. But with sex off limits from the hurting Becca, any kind of physical intimacy becomes weighted by the tragic event that had shaped their lives.

The film will undoubtedly open doors for Mitchell. He shows himself capable of handling more mainstream, but certainly powerful fare with a reserved approach that does the characters and story wonders. Of course, this wouldn't be possible if he didn't get two ace performances out of Kidman and Eckhart. While Kidman is in typically fine form, Eckhart is a standout, juggling quite a few different emotional markers for his character with tremendous insight. Yes, they both get big meaty scenes but thanks to Mitchell and the smart script by Lindsay-Abaire, these moments feel naturally encouraged rather than forcefully bookmarking each narrative milestone.

If we have any complaints, it's perhaps that Howie doesn't get as detailed a backstory as Becca (he doesn't have a family?). But as the film circles round the close (and FYI, we haven't mentioned a couple major plot elements because they are probably best revealed within the context of the story) their journey, in many ways, is only still beginning. Honest and powerful, "Rabbit Hole" reveals that the hardest thing about death, is learning to live with it. [B+]

Bad Buzz Be Damned: “Rabbit Hole” Is Very Strong

I wasn’t really sure what to think heading into tonight’s premiere of John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole.” Buzz had been mixed at best, and this was unchartered territory for a filmmaker I very much admire but had no idea what he’d be capable of in these new realms. Based on someone else’s material and with no queer content to speak of, this was clearly not going to be the John Cameron Mitchell I’d known and loved with “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Shortbus.” And I was a bit nervous. But thankfully, it turns out I love this John Cameron Mitchell too. He turns David Lindsay-Abaire’s award-winning play about a couple coping with the death of their son into a tight, focused and quietly haunting film with perfect sprinkles of humor to keep things from going off a deep end. He also brings out strong, naturalistic work from Nicole Kidman (I have not enjoyed her this much in some time), Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest that have enough awards potential for buyers to take serious notice.

Here’s a far, far away clip from the film’s introduction:

Toronto Oscar Talk Follows Kidman And Redford Preems--But Will They Open In Time?

"I think there is none better than Nicole Kidman making a major artistic comeback after a string of disappointments that include Australia, Nine, Margot At The Wedding, The Invasion, Fur, and Human Stain. She turns in a brilliant performance in Rabbit Hole, which had its gala world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday night. I saw it at a private screening in L.A. a few weeks ago. As a mother dealing with the sudden death of her four year old son, Kidman gets it all heartbreakingly right. She is matched by costars Aaron Eckhart as her husband and Dianne Wiest as her mother."

TIFF attendee

Rabbit Hole
A great film about coping with loss. I appreciate that the film takes place eight months after the event so it isn't a lot of frantic crying and yelling. There is crying and yelling on occasion, but these moments are brought up by related events and never blatantly stem from the death of their child. Eckhart is amazing, Kidman is amazing, Teller really impressed me and Wiest is excellent as well, in an internally hurting, but outwardly warm and 'motherly' role. Just constantly of high quality from beginning to end... and there's a bit of dark humor in this as well (most notably a scene where Eckhart and Oh are high at their 'Coping With Child Loss' meeting. That will have anyone with a slightly perverse sense of humor laughing manically). It's also a very ordinary production in that it doesn't take many risks in terms of scene execution - Mitchell didn't try to make it something more abstract or visually esoteric than it had to me. There is enough done to distinguish this film from it looking like a filmed play - that is all. So a great film that will only get better with reflection. An 8 for the moment, but I can see it becoming one of the few 9s I give out this year.

Kidman’s jobs keep her sweating

Jane Stevenson

Nicole Kidman is sweating her first TIFF appearance as not only an actress but as a producer with the new film Rabbit Hole, about a couple grieving the hit-and-run car accident death of their young son.


"The reason I'm wearing this jacket is because I'm sweaty and I can't take it off," half-joked Kidman, 43, at a packed press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

"(I feel) very exposed, very nervous. It's a whole different experience because it's so personal when you're in a film but you're not responsible for the film. I'm responsible for this film so it's a big weight."

The movie, directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Lindsay-Abaire's play and stars Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as the couple in question.

"It's the place you most fear to tread, and particularly as a parent, a mother, it's the most terrifying place to go and exist but at the same time it's important too," said Kidman. "Life can be very cruel and as beautiful as it can be, there's the other end of the spectrum; it can be so painful.

"And I was just so grateful to have the chance to play Becca because for me, it was vibrating."

Kidman said she was sitting in a cafe in Nashville (where she lives with second husband and country music star Keith Urban) reading a New York Times review of the theatrical version when she called her producing partner and told him to go see the play.

"It was wonderful and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that," she said. "He saw it. He sent me the play. I read it that night and we approached David and we got lucky because we really wanted him to write the screenplay. Just reading it as a play, it's so beautiful. It's very, very precise and simple and funny and elegant ... It's about how do you live each day? It's not the broad strokes. It's the minute strokes ... How do you live together as a couple, having had the most traumatic loss you'll probably ever had and how do you still walk through each day and each hour?"

Kidman was also instrumental in getting Eckhart on board and his casting helped the movie's financing together.

"I'm an enormous fan of Nicole's and had always wanted to work with her and I have tremendous respect for ability as an actor," said Eckhart. "Then when she called me up. You know, I don't usually get calls from people like her, and I was honoured and immediately said yes to the project. I felt like we did have a pretty easy relationship and respected each other and admired each other so I think that makes it easier when you're filming such tough material like this."

In preparing for their roles, Kidman wanted to attend a parent bereavement support group but was told it wouldn't be appropriate because "the emotions are too raw and you can't have somebody at the group that hadn't been through exactly the same thing, which I totally respected."

Eckhart looked at video blogs of grieving parents on the Internet and went to a group on his own.

"I did attend one bereavement class and that was probably unethical I have to say because you really feel like you're taking advantage of people who are laying it all out, no matter what kind of actor or sociopathy you are, you just feel like you're a liar."

Keith Urban prefers finished product

Nicole Kidman says her husband and country music star Keith Urban first saw her new movie, Rabbit Hole, in a rough version in their living room.

"He responded to it," said Kidman, who was spotted with Urban on the TIFF red carpet Monday night. "He then saw it (Monday) for the first time with the music and as he said, 'I can never see a film in a rough state again because it's like playing a demo to you, and saying, 'You can hear it finished can't you?' And I can't hear it finished. So he had such a different response last night that was very emotional and very supportive."

Kidman has a two-year-old daughter, Sunday, with Urban plus adopted teenagers, Bella and Connor, with ex-husband Tom Cruise.

She added she most recently took Urban to his first subtitled film and 'He loved it. He said, 'I like reading films.' "

Nicole Kidman Scores Standing Ovation at Toronto Film Festival

Nicole Kidman and husband (country superstar) Keith Urban were such a sensation on Monday night in Toronto that a whole city block in front of the Elgin Theater had to be shut down. The reason was Nicole's premiere in "Rabbit Hole," a gem of a film that later had the sold-out premiere audience going crazy with standing ovations.

It's been a while since Nicole Kidman wasn't on screen as a spy or an ethereal spirit or a historic figure. But now she's back in form again with "Rabbit Hole," a movie adaptation of a Broadway play which she optioned and produced. David Lindsay-Abaire has adapted his own award-winning play, full of humor and just the right amount of sadness. Kidman's performance recalls her great work in "To Die For," a movie that her fans still cite as a cult favorite.

"I read the review of David's play in the New York Times," Nicole told me last night, "and right away it had me interested. I think we were smart to get him to do the adaptation because they were his characters. I love that [Becca] is so sardonic."

"Rabbit Hole" co-stars four strong actors--Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, and Giancarlo Esposito--who help the star explore grief through laughter. Kidman is back in form, playing a sardonic, slightly sarcastic suburban wife who's recently suffered a great tragedy: the death of her 2-year-old son.

Nicole Kidman film 'devastating'

The Moulin Rouge actress took to the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival with hubby Keith Urban on her arm for the premiere of Rabbit Hole, which sees a couple try to cope with the death of their four-year-old child.

Nicole - who has a two-year-old daughter with Keith - said: "Most films are hard if they're beautifully written and they're dealing with a subject matter that isn't easy, that isn't a comedy - devastating. But at the same time I wanted to do it justice for the people that have been through this."

She added: "I wanted to honour them so I felt if someone can actually go through this, then I can do it as an actress.

"It's not easy to get a film like this made, or get it screened in Toronto, I just feel very grateful and very emotional."

Co-star Aaron Eckhart agreed that filming the movie was intense at times, but he tried to lighten the mood on set.

He said: "At times it was (serious on set), at appropriate times. But at other times, because Nicole really kept a good set, (it was a) very friendly, very quiet set which was good.

"Everybody felt like they could say what they needed to say, joke around. I probably joked around a little bit more that Nicole did, but I felt like that was appropriate, I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't appropriate."

And Nicole returned Aaron's praise, saying: "He's such an inspiration, I loved being able to explore this together. He was right there through the whole thing supporting me and I hope I was supporting him and he felt that."

Keith Urban supports Nicole Kidman at Rabbit Hole Premiere

[Click on the link for red carpet video]

Nicole Kidman told how difficult it was to play a mother grieving for a dead child in a new film that has been acclaimed at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Oscar-winning actress, stunning in a navy-blue Prada cocktail dress, seemed shaken by the positive response to the movie Rabbit Hole.

'It's the first time more then ten people have watched it and that was at private screenings for the film-makers.

'This was the world premiere of my first film as a producer', Nicole told the Daily Mail at a drinks party in the ritzy district of Yorkville after the gala showing.

'I've nursed the film from the very beginning. I read a review of the play Rabbit Hole when it played in New York and then my company Blossom Films went after the rights.

'I had a sense, even before I'd seen the play, that it could be opened out from a stage play to a big screen film. I felt it very deeply,' she continued.

The movie charts a married couple, Becca and Howie Corbett, eight months after the death of their four-year-old son in an accident.

'It's about how they move on with their lives and how they connect with the people in their lives. But there's humour there as well, it's not all bleak,' Nicole added.

Nicole's performance astutely captures the anguish of a woman who doesn't want to be continuously reminded of her deep loss while at the same time she delivers a series of razor-sharp one-liners that are funny.

The film was written by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own stage play and directed by former actor And performance artist John Cameron Mitchell.

Nicole and leading man Aaron Eckhart are both sublime.

There was a lot of chatter following the screening from various Awards handicappers who suggested Nicole had a chance at being a best actress contender, and Eckhart had a shot at best actor.

Interestingly, three other films that could be in the next awards race played at the same cinema, the Elgin, on Monday, before Rabbit Hole.

There was the British film Never Let Me Go with Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz giving an extraordinary portrait of a policewoman from Nebraska who uncovers corruption at the United Nations headquarters in Bosnia, and Mike Leigh's movie Another Year featuring Lesley Manville giving a gripping study of a woman unlucky in her relationships.

But it was Nicole's star-power that gave off the most wattage.

She was luminous both on and off the screen.

There was a heady atmosphere with the street around the Elgin blocked off and even the party venue, held in an elegant marquee, was barricaded and surrounded by security guards and police.

Nicole had attended the screening with husband Keith Urban and both went to the after-party.

Nicole explained that the couple would soon be returning home to Nashville, Tennessee to be with daughter Sunday Rose, plus Urban was working on a new album.

Urban told the Daily Mail that their daughter, 'She's now two years and two-months old,' was walking and talking.

'She's a real live-wire,' Urban declared proudly.

'It's not the Terrible Twos time, it's the Good Twos time,' he said. 'She's into everything and wants to know about everything'.

He said that the film was tough for both Nicole and himself while she was making it although Nicole had dealt with the high emotions 'very well'.

He added: 'I've never had to deal with the emotions of close loss like that, thank god, but the audience was laughing at some scenes in the film which was good.'

Later, Nicole said that early in 2011 she and Clive Owen will make the film Hemingway. & Gellhorn, about the love affair between Ernest Hemmingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn for director Philip Kaufman.

It has long been a dream of Nicole's to make a film about the two lovers.

'She was such a fascinating woman and he was a helluva man', Nicole told the Mail.

Nicole Kidman: “Rabbit Hole” Is a Gem

Roger Friedman

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban shut down a whole city block last night in Toronto in front of the Elgin Theater. The reason was the premiere of Kidman’s “Rabbit Hole,” a gem of an indie movie that should resonate with audiences and win Nicole even more fans.

Kidman is accessible, funny and human in “Rabbit Hole”–moreso than in ages. You can tell she enjoyed producing and starring in it, too. After the film, she, Keith and I talked for quite a while and caught up–our first chat since last February’s Grammy Awards.

They told me that two year old daughter Sunday Rose is walking and talking up a storm–’Dancing, laughing. having a ball.” I don’t think we’re going to see Sunday Rose trotted out for constant p.r. either, the way Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have exploited their kid in the papers. (I’ve rarely seen a child invented for celebrity the Suri has been.)

Kidman is loving living in Nashville. It’s a good thing she’s a meat eater and not a vegetarian, I said to Keith, since there’s so much good BBQ. “I think she’d love it there anyway,” he said.

Urban is working on a new album of all new material. He’s licensed it to Capitol Records, but his deal his over. And he’s happy to be a free man in such a crazy record business.

Over at this morning, my headline for this story was “Nicole Kidman To Die For Again.”

It’s true. Kidman is a delight in “Rabbit Hole.” It’s based on the Broadway play by David Lindsay Abaire. Cynthia Nixon won the Tony Award for playing Becca, the main character. It’s a rock solid play full of laughter and sadness that the playwright has opened up beautifully for a film.

But mostly it’s Nicole, who hasn’t played a “regular person” in a contemporary drama on screen in — I don’t know, did she ever? Maybe in “Margot at the Wedding,” a little seen indie. But here she is the Kidman from “To Die For,” and even with the atttiude from “Australia”–sardonic, sarcastic, wise, and sexy.

Director John Cameron Mitchell, who you might have thought would go campy, has played “Rabbit Hole” straight. He’s set up a terrific family dynamic with Nicole, Aaron Eckhart as her husband, Dianne Wiest as her mom, Tammy Blanchard as her sister, and Giancarlo Esposito as the sister’s boyfriend.

“I read the review of the play in the New York Times.” Nicole told me. “As soon as I saw the script, I knew I could do it.’ She was wide to get the playwright to write the screenplay. “I loved her sardonic sense of humor.”

So do I! A hit for Nicole. If the film can be released in time, we may be seeing her at the Oscars next winter.

A very special tweet from Rabbit Hole castmember Miles Teller
MilesTeller: Walked the red carpet, rabbit hole rocked the room, the after party was great and now headed home. Press tomorrow!! Go team rabbit hole!

kimandr: Rabbit Hole was good, and Nicole Kidman was GREAT. Her performance really drives the film home. Aaron Eckhart was also very good.

JoshFo: I'm thrilled that people are saying Kidman is on form and terrific in Rabbit Hole. It's about time people realised how amazing she is again.

juanmgc: Rabbit Hole- Powerful. Remarkable. Kudos to John Cameron Mitchell for pulling Kidman and Eckhart's best performance of both their careers.

celesteparr: Incendies was astonishingly good; Rabbit Hole was excellent (@milesteller stole the show). Awesome writer party @ Czehoski. + SODEC = #YAY

brad_dworkin: Late night dinner at Frans post films. 2 great films tonight. I smell Oscar buzz for Kidman and Eckhart. #tiff

peterknegt: Bad buzz be damned. "Rabbit Hole" is quietly haunting and very affecting. Very strong and naturalistic work from Nicole Kidman: A- #TIFF1

davidpires: Rabbit Hole was great, not outstanding, I would rather see it on stage. #tiff

kellyleeevans: I really enjoyed the Rabbit Hole. Truly well done. #tiff

leoraheilbronn: Rabbit Hole makes me want to run out and see every play on and off Broadway.I forgot how much I love the theatre.Thank you Cameron Mitchell.

Matt_Mazur: Rabbit Hole was really mediocre. Kidman was great but the rest uninspired. Let down #tiff

GalacticPhantom: Rabbit Hole was sad :( #TIFF

fbi_woman Omg. Just saw Rabbit Hole and it was fucking beautiful. I cried through pretty much the whole thing rofl. It was pretty funny too though.

1basil1: John Cameron Mitchell's RABBIT HOLE: made me tear up at least 3 times & had a great balance of humor. Go see. #TIFF10

KathyBuckworth: Loved the movie. Nicole Kidman - awesome. Dianne Weist stole the show though. Loved it.


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CorinasBlog: I just found out tomorrow my uncles gonna meet Nicole Kidman!!

lightboxgallery: Just spotted nicole kidman arriving at her hotel in toronto. Wearing a white top and aviator sunglasses. #tiff10

jen_sweeta: Covering 2 red carpets 2night..Brighton Rock w/Helen Mirren & then Rabbit Hole w/Nicole Kidman & Aaron Eckhart @ Elgin/Winter Garden #TIFF10

oiaeam_me: Looking forward to catch a glimpse of Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman #TIFF2010

juanmgc: Tonight- Premiere of "Rabbit Hole"- John Cameron Mitchell's new film starring Nicole Kidman! So excited!

curdey: Is very excited for the premiere of 'Rabbit Hole' w/Nicole Kidman later today!

krissweb: On my way to work already!!!! I am so excitmed for tiff to be over!!! Nicole Kidman party tonight maybe Keith urban will come and make It worth my sleeplessness!!!!

ashlangorse: On way to interview Nicole Kidman and Arron Eckhart...and excited to be able to wear heels!!

CHICHIblog: Waiting for Nicole Kidman.

dinkywallflower: I want to look like helen miren when I'm older and nicole kidman now.

tinalovespinot: At Elgin theatre wowow lots of people #tiff for rabbit hole.... Or waiting for glimpse of Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart

shhharla: Waiting for aaron eckhart and nicole kidman's arrival!!

callmeburnsie: Filled up on celeb spottings during lunch at Windsor Arms: Nicole Kidman & hubby, Kevin Spacey, Hayden Christensen & Thandie Newton...#TIFF

shhharla: And the crowd goes wild for nicole kidman as she arrives!!! Obvs

justa9url: Just saw Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Aaron Eckhart. #TIFF

mt_champion: I looked at Nicole Kidman- grinned and waved. She grinned and waved back. That's all I need. :) #tiff

DougBenn: Watching Rabitt Hole at #TIFF with @brad_dworkin Just walked past Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. I do love this! Primo Seats!!

LauraTeed: Nicole Kidman was radiant!!

DinaPugliese: ttp:// - Nicole Kidman pierces you with her big blue eyes and her porcelain skin is unreal, lovely woman

leoraheilbronn: So Nicole Kidman isn't as tall or skinny as I remembered her to be. Aaron Eckhart is much younger (and tired) looking in reality.#rabbithole

tinalovespinot: Can't believe we saw her - she looked great! RT @Sarah_Han: at Rabbit Hole premiere #TIFF...yup thats Nicole Kidman

DinaPugliese: Nicole brought Keith! He's off to her left

LauraTeed: Keith urban!! You are 4 people away!!! #TIFF. He smiled at me!!!!

GalacticPhatom: John Cameron Mitchell + Nicole Kidman + Aaron Eckhart are on stage.

tinalovespinot: #tiff rabbit hole intro by @cameron_tiff w/ director + cast Nicole Kidman & Aaron Eckhart....ACTION!

leoraheilbronn: So Nicole Kidman plays with her hair a lot and Keith Urban plays the doting husband very well. Notes on unintentionally sitting close 2 them

canadagraphs: Nicole Kidman just signed a tonne of #autographs leaving her #TIFF10 premiere. I got 1. Keith Urban signed too.

marggag: Nicole Kidman just said 'hi' to me :l #tiff. #torontolifestyle #hihi

mellyboo: so nicole kidman touched my hand while i worked the carpet. How sweet.


clickeric: Io am at the same party as Nicole Kidman how awesome is that

krissweb: Just met Nicole Kidman and Keith urban!!!!

CoreyCaplan: Was at the vitamin water #TIFF10 afterparty tonight w/Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Sloane from Entourage. NBD.... #fb


TIFF Co-director Cameron Bailey talks with Xtra, a Canadian gay and lesbian news outlet


Verity said...

We really appreciate what you do SM. Can't wait for all the details on RH!

Anonymous said...

I saw a clip and it made me cry. Good on ya, Nic!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci said...

Thanks for the news!!

Anonymous said...

Poor Skeptics. A great new single and EOTY nomination for Keith and a great review and talk of an Oscar nod for Nicole. It must suck to be wrong all the time.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

It's hilarious how nomorefan is leading the way in desperation. They have to wait for Lainey to give them something they want to hear. Too funny!

SM here's another great review.

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