A husband and wife are in mourning months after their young child was killed in a car accident. This slow-moving character piece explores their grief and how they struggle to find a way through it.
It felt like it needed more. More plot, or more emotional connection, or something. This, perhaps, is exactly what the director intended. It is a film about how the inertia of grief has frozen them in their lives, and they cannot move any way. The big problem for me is that there were a lot of scenes that were clearly meant to be emotional scenes. Lots of staring into the middle distance and crying – but I felt nothing. I just didn’t connect with the characters. Was it the acting? Perhaps.
I always used to defend Nicole Kidman. For years, I’d tell people that she was a much better actor than they thought. But, I’ve really had to come to the conclusion that just because she is Australian, that doesn’t mean that she’s good at what she does. I mean, we’ve got Rachel Giffiths and Toni Collette, not every Australian actress is going to be brilliant. I still think Nicole was pretty good in To Die For, and on the second watching, when I got past the prosthetic nose, I didn’t mind her in the hours. But generally, whenever I see her in a film, I just see Nicole Kidman playing some other character. I still have hope for our Nic. Not sure if it is misplaced or not.
There was little connection between Nicole Kidman’s character, Becca, and he husband, Howie, played by Aaron Eckart. Whilst this seemed really in line with the disconnection between them caused by their grief, I found it really hard to believe that there was ever a connection between them. There was no chemistry, not even that familiarity of a long-term relationship.