Becca and Howie Corbett are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Painful, poignant, and often funny, Becca's experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason - the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny. Becca's fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him something Becca is unable to give. The Corbetts, both adrift, make surprising and dangerous choices as they choose a path that will determine their fate. Written by
David Lindsay-Abaire adapts his tragic play about a couple who lose their young son in a car accident. The film is directed by actor turned director Cameron Mitchell (who also directed 'SHORTBUS' and 'HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH', in which he also played the title character). It stars Golden Globe nominee Nicole Kidman (who also produced the film) and Aaron Eckhart (who's equally impressive). The film is full of tough hard to watch drama and strikes a very realistic and believable tone. Depressing but worth the watch.
The film focuses on how each spouse copes differently with their tragedy. Becca (Kidman) wants to get rid of everything that reminds her of her son, including the dog he chased into the street the day he was struck by a car. Howie (Eckhart) wants to hold on to all the things that bring him cherished memories of his son, including videos he constantly watches and the dog (which he brings back into the home after getting into a heated argument with his wife over it). The couple's marriage nearly falls apart as each looks for comfort in different ways. Becca finds peace in an odd relationship with the teenage driver (Miles Teller) who struck their son and Howie finds happiness with others outside the home as well including a mutual friend of he and Becca's (Sandra Oh) they know from a counseling group. Dianne Wiest plays Becca's mother who also lost a son but, as Becca points out, an adult son to drugs.
The film has some dark comedic moments to lift the tension but for the most part it's a pretty hard hitting drama. The acting is all outstanding, especially the two leads, and the film is smartly written as well as nicely directed. Some might be afraid to watch it because of it's dark depressing subject matter but it does manage to find a little small ray of hope in the darkness. Of course there's no happy endings here but it has some nice commentary to deliver on life and coping with tragedy.
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