THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM | REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

I reviewed this one back in March and as for my thoughts you can find out below. As your luck would have it we have a pretty damn fine competition for you thanks to the wonderful folks at Transmission Films and TM Publicity. You can win one of 5x copies of THEM on DVD. Suss out the review and enter afterwards. Best of luck!

ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM MARCH 2015

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY is a three film movie, or it is two movies telling the same story from different perspectives; HIM, HER and this one I am reviewing, the combination, abridged version, THEM. It (or they) have been touring for well over a year doing the festival rounds and we missed it at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival and have been very eager to catch it since. As luck would have it I managed to see it a couple of weeks ago and while I have only seen THEM – I will most definitely be seeing HIM and HER.

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING 

I loved this movie and it does not make it easy for you to love it, it is harrowing and at times it can be hard work, it requires tissues, patience and love. BUT it stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, William Hurt, Viola Davis, Bill Hader and Ciarán Hinds, I was sold on the cast without even knowing what it was about AND I could watch Chastain read food labels all day, I love her. You see, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY (from now only called RIGBY) is about the bond of love and loss. Eleanor (Chastain) and Conor (McAvoy) are two perfectly married people, they are in love and the Chastain/ McAvoy chemistry is hot – they are total lovebirds. They are both from well-to-do families and for the sake of the movie, they will never have financial issues. They have a child and life is bliss, but the child dies young (six months I think??). As you can imagine this destroys people forever and it unravels this perfect couple and both of them have different ways of dealing with death and loss. Hence why there are two stories, one explains Eleanor’s story and the other Conor’s story. While THEM tells THE story.

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY MOVIE IMAGE
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ELEANOR RIGBY (JESSICA CHASTAIN) AND CONOR LUDLOW (JAMES MCAVOY) NEWLYWEDS

 

The one letdown about this movie is that it feels incomplete, I know there is much more to the story with HIM and HER and I feel HIM and HER would be the book to this being the movie. There are a couple of scenes in this that are light and I know they would be in better context while viewing the respective individual movies. While I scored this movie four pops I do believe the individual movies would be closer to a five. Why so high?

Because the film is an acting masterclass from Chastain and McAvoy with some of the best supporting actors you could ask for in Davis, Hurt and Hinds. The film alone is worth it for the scenes with Viola Davis, I have been marathoning HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER so at the moment I am a massive fan! The character of Professor Friedman played by Davis is just stunning, it is sarcastic and hilarious and incredibly well written. A student teacher relationship based around coffee and sitting on the floor, but the unknown counselling and emotional support from someone that does not know what has happened in Eleanor’s life is superb to watch and even more reason I have to see HER.

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY MOVIE IMAGE
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ELEANOR RIGBY (JESSICA CHASTAIN) AND CONOR LUDLOW (JAMES MCAVOY) LYING ON THE GRASS

 

Eleanor is an internal wreck who is having an emotional breakdown, and her methods of dealing with it are by creating an entirely new world for herself and abandoning the old life as the memories are too much. Conor on the other hand continues in life and eternal love for Eleanor but for him the loss of the child is never to be spoken of, which makes it very difficult for grandparents and co-workers to live around him, his joy is destroyed and his bar is falling apart because it is lacking the spark of joy that makes these places vibrant.

McAvoy is superb in his own performance but he is outshone purely by the magnetism of Chastain, she is unquestionably the best actress of this generation.

First time feature director (and also writer) Ned Benson has brought us a film that moves at Valium pacing but I see this as how dealing with these issues would be like, it would be relentless. He also makes the slow pace of the arc so filled with depression combined with life moving on that everything is interesting, every character is interesting and the world he has created is so interesting you want to stick with them all, you want to know them and their back-stories more. Even Eleanor’s mum, Mary Rigby (played by the always superb Isabelle Huppert) – why does she have a glass of wine in her hand 24hrs a day? It is there, it is part of her character but it is up to you to work it out. Benson’s idea for two scripts, two stories, shot simultaneously is a superbly original idea. I am uncertain whether his massive re-cut to combine the two was necessary or was it what studios wanted? Regardless he did get cinematic release for all three cuts in the U.S..

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY MOVIE IMAGE
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ELEANOR RIGBY (JESSICA CHASTAIN) AND PROFESSOR FRIEDMAN (VIOLA DAVIS) MEET OVER COFFEE

 

This will not be for everyone but if you love great acting, incredible intelligent writing and would appreciate a thorough look at love and the effects of loss and grieving then this is for you!! It is a movie that will stay with you long after you have seen it and I think HIM and HER will be even more powerful.

 

4 Pops

 

With special thanks to Transmission Films and TM Publicity to win one of the 5X copies to THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY on DVD you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite James McAvoy or Jessica Chastain movie and why? I am going with Chastain and INTERSTELLAR – just worship the movie 🙂

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent on or after June 30th! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.