There are two scenes when Wilson (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is trying to get into his mother-in-law's (Kathy Bates) house, he is screaming and rattling the bars on the outside of the house, as if he is imprisoned. This represents the cage of grief, how inescapable grief is.
Hoffman plays Wilson Joel, a tech-head whose wife has recently committed suicide, although it takes us a while to figure that out. He presents a facade of conviviality in the office, sometimes punctuated by outbursts of laughter that go on too long, like choked grief. His home seems frozen in a state of mid-unpacking, and he sleeps on the floor. Eventually he stops going in to work altogether. - Roger Ebert