Follow us:

Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira:

September 14, 2010 at 8:33 AM

At TIFF: “Rabbit Hole,” and a wrap

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.
(Photo: Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in “Rabbit Hole,” courtesy of TIFF.)
And with that, I’m packing up my hotel room — how did I get so many pieces of paper? why is there so much Diet Coke in here? — and heading home today, after a quick interview with Jim Broadbent. (He’s terrific in Mike Leigh’s “Another Year.” Then again, he’s terrific in everything.) It’s been a great festival, and I’ve attended more public screenings this year than I ever have, giving me a chance to meet some nice locals who love the movies. Despite a few glitches (the French film “Little White Lies” had to have its gala premiere screening without subtitles — somebody, whose head is perhaps rolling down King Street right now, apparently forgot to check that they worked with the auditorium’s projector — meaning that those who wished to experience the film in English had to be marched down the street to another theater, after a long delay), all has gone smoothly. It’s a remarkable feat when you consider that, on a typical day, TIFF offers 40 to 50 press/industry screenings alone; never mind the public screenings.
A lot has changed at TIFF over the ten years I’ve been coming: we now get our passes electronically scanned (not so long ago, press signed in on clipboards); the festival’s moved mostly downtown, where the facilities include TIFF’s lovely new year-round home, the Bell Lightbox; and there seem to be fewer press and more industry types. One change that disappoints me: TIFF appears to have given up the fight on cellphone use during movies (perhaps because BlackBerry is a major sponsor?). There used to be an announcement to silence cellphones, as I recall, but now they don’t even bother and screenings — both press and public — are speckled with little blue screens. A few resisters remain (during a quiet moment in “Another Year” yesterday, a voice could be heard saying “Please turn off your cellphone”), but for the most part it’s become accepted.
And that’s a shame, not only because some of us still believe that a glowing cellphone is rudely distracting to other moviegoers, but because it means that some who choose to attend TIFF, that glorious carpetbag filled with movie magic, are also choosing to not become fully immersed in it. I look back on the wonderful movies I’ve seen over the past five days — among them “Black Swan,” “Never Let Me Go,” “The King’s Speech, “127 Hours,” “In a Different World,” “Love Crime,” “Another Year” and more — and remember what it felt like to get lost in these movies, forgetting another world exists. It’s a joy.
Anyway, back to my usual world tomorrow. Thanks for reading; I hope a few of you had fun attending TIFF vicariously with me.



No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►