“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM” My rating: C (Now showing at the Glenwood Arts)
121 minutes | MPAA rating: R
The hype over “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” has been so pervasive that a letdown was pretty much inevitable.
It’s not a bad film — just a minor one. A forgettable one.
Actually, we’re talking about three movies. “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them,” now playing in Kansas City, stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. It’s about the breakup of a marriage in the wake of a tragedy.
But writer/director Ned Benson has created two other films using the same cast and basic plot that tell the story from the separate points of view of the wife, Eleanor, and the husband, Conor. One of these is “TDER: Her”; the other is “TDER: Him.” Presumeably theaters that are showing “TDER: Them” will also book the other two features.
Here’s the problem. Based on “Them,” I’m not eager to follow these characters for another four hours.
In fact, I found this film irritating despite the solid performances. Benson is a parsimonious storyteller who rations out important information, keeping his cards hidden and giving us what we need to know in meager dribbles.
The film begins with Eleanor’s attempted suicide jump from NYC’s 59th Street Bridge. Plucked from the East River she spends some time in a pysch ward and then ends up in the suburban home of her parents. Dad (William Hurt) is a psychologist and educator; Mom (Isabelle Huppert) mostly survives on cigarettes and red wine.
There’s also a younger sister (Jess Wiexler) who with her young son have moved back home after the breakup of her marriage.
How do psychologists raise such psychologically messed-up kids? Just wondering.