Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TIFF: A Glimpse of Rabbit Hole Enthusiasm To Come?

Nicole Kidman and hubby hit Toronto for the film festival. I haven't seen more than one true review yet, but she wore Prada. Just Jared has pics from the premiere.

As for the review(s)? Well it's mostly tweets at this point though I expect more reviews to emerge soon. Let's start negative and get positive.

Negative
  • @ioncinema "Belly flop for JCM. Wish entry point into story was at the 10month point. Wish final scene was extended by 90 mins."
  • @matt_mazur "Rabbit Hole was really mediocre. Kidman was great but the rest uninspired. Let down"
Positive
  • The Playlist "honest and powerful"
  • Deadline NY "Nicole Kidman making a major artistic comeback"
  • @PeterKnegt of IndieWire says 'Bad buzz be damned. Quietly haunting and very affecting. Very strong and naturalistic work from Nicole Kidman'
  • @Scott_Tobias "B+) Movie about loss of a child, on no sleep and a week away from my own kid? No way this wasn't going to wreck me."
  • @juanmgc "Powerful. Remarkable. Kudos to John Cameron Mitchell for pulling Kidman and Eckhart's best performance of both their careers."
Juan is the only tweeter among the positive voices that I wasn't really familiar with. But I never trust "career best" statements from anyone until I've seen the film in question. That's a common heat of the moment statement and with Kidman, that would basically position it as a best of the decade contender just as the decade has begun. But at any rate this is good news (so far) and we share @GuyLodge's feelings... "Very excited about early praise for Kidman: that "best of her generation" claim I've doggedly stuck to needs new foundations."

Finally, here's a tweet adressed to me from friend of TFE Katey Rich


There's also a strangely lengthy non-commital post at Awards Daily about why they haven't covered it much. The rest of what I've seen is various tweets with "quotes" around them as if more people have reviewed it than I can find. Curious. Perhaps my coffee isn't strong enough this morning or I have forgotten how to type words into search engines. Next!

A couple of clips hit the net too. In the best of these (thanks for the tip Kaye), we get a peak at the tense relationship between mom (Dianne Wiest) and daughter (Nicole Kidman) in a bowling alley...



There's also another clip about a grief support group in which I kept getting distracted by Aaron Eckhart's superhero chin. He really is a cartoon. In a good way, mind.
*

43 comments:

par3182 said...

make room for dianne weist in the supporting category

OtherRobert said...

I don't want to judge a film on two tiny clips. I will say my enthusiasm for Rabbit Hole has jumped up a few notches after seeing that. Please, someone pick this up and get the campaign running. It's not too late to be a contender. If it were clearly packed (I'm not sold it is), I'd say hold off for next year. I think if there is distribution and they get moving, the film can be in the mix of things.

Murtada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murtada said...

here's another tweet that I found disheartning @Matt_Mazur says "Rabbit Hole was really mediocre. Kidman was great but the rest uninspired. Let down #tiff".

Possibly a performance showcase in a so-so movie? I was hoping for something with the emotional wallop of 'In the bedroom".

Joe Reid said...

Seriously, reading Awards Daily these days is like reading a slow-motion nervous breakdown being carried out over several years.

James T said...

Yes. The first clip looks good (though Wiest seems a little too subtle as if she is bored) and I can't wait (this phrase is so common I should make it a CW from now on) to see it, be it this year or the next one. I really hope the Academy will give her something (assuming she ends up at least in my top 10 when I make the list) because, really, I'm not sure many current 15 year-olds are ever going to know how good she is if something big doesn't happen to her career.

James T said...

It was re:Kidman obvs.

Gordon said...

Pete Hammond at Deadline.com wrote this about Kidman's performance: "It's an unusual year with lots of first class lead performances from women. 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 4-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. This is easily her best work since winning an Oscar for 2002’s The Hours, and probably her most assured screen work, even though I confess to being a major To Die For groupie."

NATHANIEL R said...

Gordon -- thanks. Although Hammond is clearly insane if he doesn't think her work in DOGVILLE, BIRTH and MARGOT was up to the standard of her work in THE HOURS. ;)

Joe Reid said...

I don't think her work in Dogville, Birth, or Margot was up to her standard in "The Hours" either.

But I'm not a Birther, so...

NATHANIEL R said...

joe -- you are too funny. i like the peops at awards daily so i didn't want to be mean (we all have our down days) but when i was finished with the several paragraph post i felt like nothing had been communicated other than 'we weren't talking about this. and now we are' -?

par --IF there's a release.

murtada -- weird. i hadn't seen that and i follow him.

JOE AGAIN -- um EEWWWWWW. Please don't refer to us as Birthers. The connotations are just too unpleasant/idiotic. ;)

Burning Reels said...

Yes, Mr Hammond - Margot (and even Australia to an extent) were decent enough Kidman performances and pictures, and an 'unusual year with lots of first class lead performances from women' - wow, ignorant and condesending:)

James T said...

Tweet form ropeofslilicon: "Kidman gives an incredibly solid performance in the grief stricken Rabbit Hole"

Is there such thing as an "incredibly solid" performance? Any way, it's obviously acclaim so it's good enough for me.

cal roth said...

I think you should go on not predicting Kidman. If she manages to keep receiving good ink, we'll know you were jinxing her, as you used to believe.

(I am not interested in this project, as a matter of fact. After Antichrist, I want to keep distance from grieving mothers)

The Film Junkie said...

So I'm a "Birther"? That's just...weird. But as a self-confessed Kidmaniac I must say I'm loving the praise she's getting, though I haven't been as disappointed by her work in the past few years as some have. The films may not always come together but she never gives a less than intriguing performance, in my (admittedly biased) opinion. I thought she was fantastic in Margot.

Dempsey Sanders said...

I didn't think her work was all that bad before hand, alright a few dodgy choices, but its good to know everyones saying shes back to true form, Dianne weist is amazing.

James T said...

Nathaniel, why do you have Guy's tweet on the "positive" list? It was just his reaction to the comments made by the ones who saw the film.

Volvagia said...

I don't think it's that critics have a problem praising weird films right away. It's that they have a problem praising weird films with well known performers right away. (See also: The Night of the Hunter and Performance for films of that stripe getting slated mainly DUE to their well known performers. See Eraserhead and The Seventh Seal for films of that stripe getting praise in part BECAUSE of the obscurity of their performers.)

adam k. said...

Am I the only one concerned with Kidman's dialect work here? She's usually good with American, or at least not distracting. I don't remember having any problem with her in To Die For or Dogville, but here, in this very low-key atmosphere among an all-American cast, her less-than-perfect vowels stick out like a sore thumb. I found it very distracting in the clips. I don't imagine it gets much better throughout the rest of the film.

I find it very bothersome when directors can't seem to bring themselves to say to their über-famous stars: "excuse me, you really need to work on this dialect more, it's not working now" and critics don't take issue with it either.

Is it just that people don't notice? I thought it was pretty blatant here. Good dialect work does not a great performance make, but bad dialect work can sink one.

NATHANIEL R said...

james t -- it was meant more as "what people are saying" as opposed to a review... which is why i mentioned that most of them were tweets.

The Film Junkie said...

@adam k.- I noticed it, it was very noticeable in the Bowling Alley scene. If it wasn't so well acted maybe I would have griped about it, but I thought the frustration that her character was feeling with her mother was very palpable in that scene and it gives a glimpse of the tense relationship they'll have throughout the film and that's what mattered to me.

Marcus said...

Guys, seriously, what do you see in Margot At The Wedding? I couldn't wait for it to end.

Liz said...

Re: the accent

The only time people seem to care about accents is when an American is doing a foreign accent. Then, they love to criticize.

But if a foreigner is doing an American accent, they will get a pass 9 times out of 10, even if it's horrendous (*cough*Simon Baker and half of American TV*cough*)

I haven't watched the clips yet, so I can't say how her accent it. It's just a double standard that I've noticed.

NATHANIEL R said...

Marcus -- i don't love MARGOT as a movie (i think the script has a lot of problems some of them in the "too obvious" parallel way) and i can see why people don't like it (i hated the dingy look myself) but i think Kidman is great in it.

Anonymous said...

Variety review is very, very good. But why the snide plastic surgery comment? We get it, already. Why are they so particularly out to cut her down even in a moment of praise?

mrripley said...

This sort of stuff bugs me people saying "oooohhhh it's kidman at her best since the hours" where she was good in a supporting role not as good as earlier work in bangkok hilton,eyes wide shut,to die or,the portrait of a lady,moulin rouge or the others and not as good as her work later in birth and margot at the wedding.

i will always watch kidman i have been critical about her plastic surgery love but the hair is back and her mojo is still on fire!!!

oh yeah wiest kills in the clip.

Billy Held An Oscar said...

Dianne has lost a ton of weight.

Amanda said...

Diane Wiest is the standout for me in this clips. She is so very good.

Liz, Stephen Moyer, born and bred Brit, gets a lot- and I mean a lot- of criticism for his southern accent in True Blood.

Ryan Kwanten, a kiwi, on the other hand, gets a lot of praise for his.

(I've heard people heavily criticize Anna paquin's accent and she has lived in the US for ever).

adam k. said...

I'm always bothered by bad dialects/accents because I don't understand why someone (even Kidman) is cast in a role for which she can't do something as fundamental as an American dialect. There are probably 1,000 other actresses who can also convey frustration effectively and can do so while sounding believably American. When the lead character is obviously doing a dialect, and doing it wrong, it takes me out of the whole film. So annoying.

Wiest was great, though.

Josh M. said...

^....seriously?

James T said...

Adam k. - Thank god I don't notice those thigns :p

To be accurate, Kidman cast herself.

alex said...

What is Hammond smoking ? Kidman's work in Dogville, Birth and Margot is superior to her work in The Hours.

And she was great in Fur and The Golden Compass, as was her singing in Nine. So it's not like she was gone for a long time, gee !

Ivan said...

My rank for Kidman´s Performances

10.Eyes Wide Shut
9. Dead Calm
8. The Human Stain
7. Moulin Rouge
6. Bankok Hilton (tv)
5. The Others
4. Dogville
3. The Hours
2. Birth
1. To Die For

No Bad Movies said...

Now we all can people people that will be likeminded; those that won't be surprised if Dianne Wiest gets a supporting actress nomination.

RJ said...

"(I've heard people heavily criticize Anna paquin's accent and she has lived in the US for ever)."

Except when she was born and raised in New Zealand as a child.

/3rtfu11 said...

Casual prophecy: Dianne Wiest will be the Walter Brennan of the Supporting Actress category.

Kaye said...

Aaw... thanks for posting that Nat. Fingers crossed the movie gets a distributor. :-)

Mike said...

I was really surprised by how good the reviews for this film were. It was kinda off my radar until now. Great cast, though. I’m hearing that Eckhart and Tammy Blanchard are pretty great in it.

You can find more pics over at the Tribute page.

http://www.tribute.ca/tiff/index.php/2010/09/14/rabbit-hole-screening-at-the-elgin-theatre/

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surreal87 said...

Sorry but i am one of the non-believers of nicole having plastic surgery. And i am glad that Rabbit Hole is well-received in the same way how Doubt(actors' showcasing movies) was. And Nicole seems very engaging from the clips and Dianne is simply devestating. I really really hope Nicole n Dianne will get nominated next year.

G.ShaQ said...

"He was still my SON"

Chills.

Jeff said...

Lionsgate will distribute Rabbit Hole and is releasing it THIS YEAR and not next.

http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/breaking-in-toronto-lionsgate-buying-rabbit-hole-jumps-into-oscar-race/

Wow. Go Nicole.

City_Of_Lights said...

Very impressed with LionsGate. It seems they are really stepping up. Go Nicole and Dianne. I'm already pulling for Oscar noms for them.