THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH.
The director’s most conventional film to date is also his most touching, a portrait of a couple trying to find a way out of grief after the sudden death of their four-year-old boy. Based on a play, the writer took the opportunity himself to make a few changes regarding characters and locations. As the couple try to move on with their lives, in Nicole Kidman’s case perhaps helped by her secret meetings with the devastated teenager who accidentally killed her son, the more compelling the film becomes. Superior performances by the two leads, and a lovely one by Dianne Wiest as Kidman’s mother who keeps getting on her nerves.
2010-U.S. 91 min. Color. Produced by Nicole Kidman, Gigi Pritzker, Per Saari, Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Screenplay, Play: David Lindsay-Abaire. Cast: Nicole Kidman (Becca Corbett), Aaron Eckhart (Howie Corbett), Dianne Wiest (Nat), Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller, Sandra Oh… Giancarlo Esposito.
Trivia: Teller’s first feature film.
Last word: “I encouraged him to cut maybe five percent of the dialogue. I could see that there was some repetition, I could imagine that a single shot of Nicole could replace a few lines. There was a subplot with the sister that I encouraged him to completely cut, but he didn’t. He pared it down and then I pared it down even more in editing. I encouraged him to expand the metaphor of the comic book. Later in editing, the producers wanted more breathers between scenes, which was a good idea. I came up with this device of the kid slowly building his image of the parallel universes. So it was very judicious — laser beam suggestions of cuts, most of which he took, some of which he didn’t. Others, we did while shooting and editing.” (Mitchell on working with Lindsay-Abaire, Filmmaker Magazine)