“Rabbit Hole” climbs into the Oscars with one nomination, presenting Nicole Kidman with a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination. Once again, the race comes down to the winners of the actress awards at the Golden Globes, Natalie Portman and Annette Bening. However, Kidman’s part is still noteworthy and very different than any of her previous performances.
Kidman is no stranger to the Academy Awards, but this will probably not be her year. The part she plays, however, is extremely sensitive and challenging. The story of “Rabbit Hole” involves the unexpected loss of a child in a young family. As the mother (Kidman) and father (Aaron Eckhardt) attempt to deal with their great loss, each in their own way, Kidman’s character turns to the young boy who accidentally hit the couple’s son with his car.
Portraying a great loss in a performance is not easy. The suffering and agony that come along with real life loss is unimaginable. It becomes Nicole Kidman’s job to find that place and display it properly for the camera. Though I, myself, have not experienced any level of losing a child, I cannot say for sure, but Kidman does deal with the complex emotion very successfully, finding the balance between over-the-top sadness and truly deep emotion.
Working against her are the other performances in the category, most notably Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”. If we are bringing up complex emotions, Portman’s are on a completely different level. Annette Bening’s performance matches Kidman’s the best, as both performances rely on realistic human elements that lack in Portman’s role The question to the Academy will be, do we award the Oscar to Portman for her revolutionary performance or do we give the award to Bening or Kidman for their ability to reproduce such raw and real human emotions.
My vote has already been given to Natalie Portman. For such a young actress, Portman displays the poise of the women twice her age, who have been acting long before her. Kidman has also already won an Oscar for her performance in “The Hours”. Since many critics say that the Academy likes to steer away from previous winners, Bening and Portman appear to be the stronger choices.
(21 OF 41 FILMS REMAINING)-(16 DAYS TO OSCARS)