Monday, September 22, 2014
"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them" is supposed to be three films in one
“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them” (directed by Bed Benson) is either the third film of a series, or it is a summarized composite of the first two parts, pronouns, “Him” and “Her”, in telling the story of a young couple’s failed marriage and attempt to come back. It’s easy to wonder if this should have been a cable series. The Weinstein Company apparently encouraged the composite version, still over two hours, and a bit meandering.
The prologue shows the couple – Connor (James McAcvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) on a romp through the park together, after they don’t go Dutch for dinner and Connor doesn’t pay the bill. After the opening credits (I wonder if TWC recalls that “Them” as a title of a notorious horror film in the 1950s, as well as another independent film recently) we jump into loss. Eleanor makes a suicide attempt in a jump from a bridge (Tyler Clementi did not survive such a jump) and Connor gets hit by a car, but isn’t badly injured.
Connor’s life goes downhill financially, as he will lose his bar (Bill Hader is effective as his sidekick cook Stuart) and wind up maybe working for his dad (Ciaran Hinds).
Eleanor tries to rediscover herself with some college courses and a sympathetic professor (Viola Davis). There’s an annoying lecture hall scene where Connor spots her, and becomes a bit disruptive.
The entire film simply seemed too much of a muddle. We’re told briefly that the couple lost a child, but we don’t’ have enough specifics to believe the relationship.
James McAvoy, however, carries his usual charisma. And, yes, he is quite “cute”, especially in the bedroom scene.
The official site is here (I had to hunt for it.) Rumor has it that showings of all three parts will be arranged in New York and LA and a few art houses around the country. The DVD will presumably include everything, as will view-on-demand offerings. Again, the whole set is likely to wind up on cable a few times. A lot of work went into this project!
I saw the film before a small audience Saturday night at the AMC Shirlington.
I have a proposed project where two interrelated films have to fit together, in the last two chapters (short stories) of my DADT III book. I discuss how I would to it here. The film could be called “Two Road Trips” (or “The Home Team Bats Last”), and the two interrelated stories are “Expedition” and “The Ocelot the Way He Is”.