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RABBIT HOLE

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NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Nash.

The film starts with Becca (Nicole Kidman) gardening in her backyard.  Her neighbor, Peg (Patricia Kalember), comes by to invite her to a party they’re having but Becca declines, saying that they have plans tonight.  Becca notices that Peg has stepped on one of her flowers.  Later, Becca can see Peg’s party from her kitchen window. Her husband, Howie (Aaron Eckhart) comes in and she tells him that if Peg asks, they went out tonight.  Howie tries to get intimate with her but she pulls back and backs him off.

That night, Becca lies on her sofa reading a book when the phone rings.  She answers it hesitantly.  It’s her sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard) and she’s been in a bar fight.  Becca goes to pick her up.  Becca chastises her for still acting like a “jackass” and that Izzy is too old for that.  Back at home, Becca catches Howie sitting in the dark watching an old home movie of them playing with their dead child on his phone.  She doesn’t bother him.

The next morning, Becca finds out by overhearing Izzy’s phone conversation that the bar fight she was involved in was because she was sleeping with another woman’s boyfriend.  Izzy tells Becca that she’s pregnant.  She didn’t tell her sooner because of what happened with Becca’s child.  Howie plays squash with his friend, Rick.  Rick broaches the subject of whether they’ve considered having another child.  Howie says no, that it is too soon.

Howie and Becca go to a support group meeting for parents who have lost a child.  They talk with Gaby (Sandra Oh) and Kevin (Stephen Mailer) who have been in this group therapy for eight years.  They listen to a couple talking about how its all part of God’s plan which Becca visibly disagrees with.  The couple say they needed another angel when Becca blurts out that he’s God and he could have just made another angel.  Becca decides right there that its time to go.

At dinner at a restaurant, Howie scolds her for talking during the other couple’s talking time.  She says he knows how she hates the God people and says that the group is just not for her and doesn’t want to be like Gaby and Kevin who have been there for so long.  The next day at home, she stares at her child’s painting on her fridge.  She empties the shelves in the child’s room and washes all of the clothes in the room.  Becca goes to her mother’s house, Nat’s (Dianne Wiest) house.  There, she meets Augie (Giancarlo Esposito), the father of Izzy’s baby.  The dog in the alleyway barks at her and Augie apologizes for it.  Becca says the dog used to belong to her.  Augie is living at the house with them.

Becca has brought all of her child’s old clothes for Izzy to eventually use.  Izzy says it would feel weird to accept these clothes.  Nat says she thinks the baby is going to be a girl.  Becca packs up the clothes and goes back home.  Becca puts all of the clothes into the Goodwill bin.  She stops next to a school bus and looks up at one of the kids.  She fixates on him.  She begins to follow the school bus.  She even runs a red light to keep up with it.  She sees where the kid she fixated on lives.

At home, Howie notices that the pictures on the fridge are gone.  He doesn’t say anything but it obviously bothers him.  Howie again tries to seduce Becca by putting on romantic music and massaging her and kissing her neck.  She again backs off and pushes him back.  She says it was a weird day.  Howie says its been 8 months but Becca is not ready yet.  Becca doesn’t want to be roped into sex but Howie thought it would be nice.  Becca says that things just can’t be nice anymore.

The next morning, Howie tells Becca that if she doesn’t want to go to group, he needs her to see someone.  She tells him that she has no plans for the day.  As soon as he leaves, Becca dresses herself up and takes the train into New York City.  She goes to Sotheby’s, where she used to work and tries to meet with somebody to get her old job back but no one she knew when she worked there is there anymore.  An old colleague Gary (Jay Wilkison) recognizes her in the lobby and says hello wondering what she’s doing there.  She just tells him that she just came to visit and say hello because she was running a few errands in the city.  She goes back and waits for the school bus at the school and follows the kid she is fixated on.  She goes to the library and sees the kid that he has dropped off and picks it up for herself.  She bumps into him in the library and startled, she runs out of there.

At work, Rick says he has Yankees tickets but Howie has decided to go to group instead.  Howie goes to group alone and meets up with Gaby and Kevin.  Becca calls Nat and tells her she’s going to make a birthday cake for Izzy.  Nat wonders why Becca isn’t at group.  Nat says it was helpful when Becca’s brother died.  Becca says mean, hurtful things about her father and her mother’s religion and apologizes immediately after.  They agree that she’s going to make the cake.  Howie and Becca are in the car on the way to Izzy’s birthday party.  She feels weird about still having the car seat in the back.  Howie broaches the subject about having another baby but she adamantly refuses.  She thinks it would help to get back on track by selling the house.  Howie is angry that she is even considering this.

The birthday party is at a bowling alley.  Howie and Becca have gotten Izzy a bathroom set which Izzy is obviously not excited about.  Nat has gotten Izzy some baby stuff.  Becca tries to take back her gift and ends up causing a minor scene spilling some wine.  Nat talks about the death of her son and gets into an argument with Becca about how she won’t take her advice.  Becca resents that her mother keeps comparing Becca’s four year old son and her thirty year old brother who died of a heroin overdose.  Nat screams he was still her son.

Becca waits for the kid she’s fixated on at the bus stop but he doesn’t get off.  He surprises her from behind and asks if she is waiting for him.  She wants to talk with him and they go sit on a bench in the park.  His name is Jason.  They talk about school and his parents.  He’s going to Connecticut College in the fall.  Through this conversation, we find out he is the one that accidentally killed her son with his car.  He really wishes he drove down a different block that day.  Before they part, they both agree to do this again some time. 

On the way inside to group, Howie catches Gaby smoking pot inside her car.  Howie decides to smoke pot with her in the car too.  During group, Howie and Gaby break out into little giggle fits and Howie has to excuse himself.  Later that night, Howie confronts Becca about deleting the videos of their son on his phone.  Howie confronts her about trying to get rid of any evidence that he ever existed.  They get into a huge argument about who’s to blame and how she is trying to erase his existence from the world, like how she gave away the dog.  Howie comes to the conclusion that something has to change.  Things have become too hard and he wants the dog back.

Becca and Jason meet at the park bench again.  She has brought him cookies.  They talk about the parallel universe book that she picked up from him and alternate realities.  He says it was for research for a comic book that he drew.  It’s about a scientist who has found a network of holes that lead to parallel universes and his son has to go into a rabbit hole to find a different version of his father after he has died.  It’s not done but when it is, he will let her read it.  He admits he might have been going a little too fast that day.  He tries to explain how the dog ran out really fast and how he swerved.  He was only a mile or two over the limit but he feels really guilty about it.  She says its OK.

Howie and Gaby are smoking pot in her car before the meeting again.  He doesn’t want to go in there so they decide to go to an arcade and play games.  Gaby confesses that Kevin did not just leave group but he left her.  She says its inevitable since they have become different people.  Howie tells her that he loves his wife.  He comes home that night and admits she’s right, that they should look into selling the house.

Becca sits in her child’s room with Nat, putting the different toys and objects into different boxes.  Nat tells Becca about Maureen Bailey who was always at her house after her son died.  She asked her why she was there and Maureen said that she said it was important to be there.  Nat told her off and said she could do without her just sitting on her fat ass all day eating her food and coffee all day.  Howie and Becca prep the house for the Open House.  Howie decides to stick around the house during this time while Becca is going to hide out somewhere else.

Becca sits in the park reading a book and watching kids play.  Howie shows a family around the house and when they asks about his son after they see his room, he tells them about his death.  Howie makes the family uncomfortable by talking about his son.  Becca and Izzy decide to hang out and go to a nail salon.  Izzy gets the feeling from Becca that Izzy doesn’t deserve this baby and isn’t competent enough to take care of it.  During a confrontation with another mom in the grocery store, Becca slaps the other mom and Izzy has to walk Becca out.

When Becca and Izzy come home from the store, Howie tells them that they need to clean up the kid’s room and make it into a guest room or something.  Jason arrives at the house to the surprise of Howie, Becca, and Izzy.  Jason has come to give Becca the comic book she has finished.  Howie is wondering what is happening and she explains that she bumped into him at the library and they have been meeting a few times.  Howie is angry.  Jason leaves and Becca chases after him.  Howie takes the dog out for a walk and takes his anger out a bit on the dog.  He is immediately apologetic.

That night, Howie asks her why Becca didn’t tell him.  The same reason he doesn’t tell her what he does at group since he comes home smelling like pot, she says.  Becca and Nat have put all of her child’s things in one corner of their basement.  Becca asks if that grief ever goes away.  Nat says it doesn’t go away but the weight of it changes.  It becomes manageable, like a brick in your pocket that you will always carry.

At work, Howie calls Gaby at home.  He tells Becca that he is going to group.  As Howie drives to his meeting with Gaby, Becca drives over to meet with Jason.  Howie meets Gaby at her house and he pauses at her driveway.  Becca arrives at Jason’s house and sees him in a tuxedo going off to prom.  She stays in her car as she flashes back to the day that her child died, seeing Jason getting out of the car as she screams.  She begins crying uncontrollably in the car.  As the car drives away, Jason sees her crying.  Howie faces Gaby and apologizes and leaves.  At home, he takes out the baby’s seat and puts it in the trash.  He searches the house for Becca but doesn’t find her.  He opens up the door to his child’s bedroom and finds it is now completely empty.

It is now the next morning.  Howie slept in his child’s room.  Becca slept in her car.  Jason knocks on her window, waking her up.  It’s early in the morning and he is just getting home.  They take a walk in the park and talk about his prom.  She talks to him about his comic book and about how much she enjoyed it and tells him about the myth of Orpheus which the comic reminded her of.  He believes in alternate versions and she says that this is only the sad version of them.  She likes that somewhere out there she is happy and having a good time.

Howie finds Becca sitting in the kitchen.  He tells her that he thought she left.  She thinks that they should invite the neighbors for a cook-out.  Their child’s birthday is coming up.  Howie wants to know if she told him that they don’t blame him.  Becca wonders what they are going to do.  Howie answers with some mundane errands and little things to do such as buying presents for their friends’ daughter and then having the cookout and having conversations about every day, normal things.  They just have to live their lives little by little by little, step by step by step.  As Howie tells them what they’re going to do, we see them having a cookout with their friends and family and then that after all of that, he doesn’t know what they should do but they will still keep going.  They’ll keep living.

The film closes with Howie and Becca holding hands as they watch the sun set in their backyard.


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