Rabbit Hole is filled with the anger and inconsolable grief of parents who’ve lost a young child, messy emotions that never manage to disrupt the phony tidiness of John Cameron Mitchell’s carefully arranged drama. An about-face from his prior Shortbus, Mitchell’s film – written by David Lindsay Abaire, based on his Pulitzer-winning play – picks up with Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) eight months after the death of their four-year-old son, a tragedy that isn’t announced so much as allowed to creep out in small increments amidst frosty familial exchanges, spousal discussions, and support-group meetings. Unable to cope with what’s occurred, the two are slowly drifting apart – Becca struggles to mask resentment over her wayward sister’s pregnancy and wants to remove all traces of her child from her home, while Howie is frustrated with Becca’s emotional and sexual detachment and clings tightly to mementos (refrigerator-posted paintings, an iPhone video) of his dead son. Mitchell’s direction is understated and empathetic, allowing room for his characters to bellow and wail, as well as shrink into silence and empty spaces. And Becca and Howie’s stressed dynamic carries with it a sense of a happier past now unavailable to them, with Kidman and Eckhart often mitigating showboating histrionics in favor of quiet portraits of sorrow, resentment and powerlessness. Nonetheless, Rabbit Hole is far too spic-and-span orderly for its own good, notably in its providing Becca and Howie with respective secret friends who speak to their needs: Howie finds a possible romantic outlet via a pot-fueled relationship with a fellow griever (Sandra Oh), and Becca confronts her child’s absence by befriending the teen who ran him over, Jason (Miles Teller). Coupled with the overarching fact that every word, gesture and act resounds with not-so-subtle import, these straightforward parallels feel like transparent writerly devices, and also extend to Becca’s anger at, and disbelief in, God, a lack of faith ultimately and conveniently resolved via the titular parallel universe-themed comic book by Jason. Like the final scene of measured, painful hope, a third-act speech by Becca’s mom (Diane Wiest) – in which a parent’s mournful anguish is likened to a brick in one’s pocket – recognizes the simple truth that tragedies linger, and are at best merely survived. One wishes more of this self-consciously schematic film carried similar weight.