I ran across a little news story today that piqued my curiosity in a little project being put together by Olympus Pictures. Seems they have cast Aaron Eckhart in “Rabbit Hole,” a movie to be based on David Lindsay-Abaire’s Broadway play.
Eckhart will be joining Nicole Kidman, already attached to the project. The plot of the play follows a happy couple as they get hit with the tragedy of their four-year-old son’s death. It explores the journey that the two must make to regain happiness.
Honestly, it sounds a little broad–a little stock. But these kinds of movies, when well done, can be great, as long as there is someone wildly talented behind the camera.
And for those (like me) not following this film, you should know that the director attached to this piece is none other than Hedwig herself, John Cameron Mitchell. And this is the part of the story that gets me excited.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which Mitchell not only starred in but wrote and directed as well, is by far my favorite musical. There is an emotional rawness to it that is perfectly complemented by its irreverence, energy, and great sense of humor. Mitchell’s Short Bus, too, was a great example of truly brave filmmaking. Mitchell has a way of taking “heavy” and emotionally complicated subject matter and keeping it fresh, fun, innocent and magical.
So what does it mean that he’s directing Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in a fairly high-profile drama? It means Hollywood finally gave a step up to someone who deserves it. Before this, almost all actors in Mitchell’s films were no-names (though all were wildly talented), and he worked with very modest budgets. I am supremely interested to see what he will do with this movie–which seems to be a straightforward drama without the flair and over-the-top style that Mitchell is great at. He understands characters, and he understands serving a story, so I, for one, am excited about this project.