The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (2013)

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her: Directed by Ned Benson. With Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis. Told from the female perspective, the story of a couple trying to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone.

“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby…Her (2013)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWith a title that is suspiciously catchy (as in the Beatles song) I expected a quirky comedy, or a weak independent flick. Instead I found a seriously good, thoughtful, straight ahead movie about a young woman facing a huge crisis in her life. Around her is a family that seems more or less normal, and friends who seem supportive in the ways we all expect. And it turns out this is one of three probing movies in a triptych about this difficult normality.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt is the cracks in our normal world this movie tries to explore. Like how the small things in family and friends can rub the wrong way, or how little flaws in a personu0026#39;s make-up can lead to small disasters, which accumulate. Itu0026#39;s all beautifully told, with subtle acting all around including a minor but gentle presence as the womanu0026#39;s father by William Hurt and an odd but eventually important role as the womanu0026#39;s professor by Viola Davis.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt is Jessica Chastain, for sure, who makes this movie soar. Sheu0026#39;s subtle enough, underacting as needed, and physical enough, moving through the scenes with snap (including the startling first scene), she keeps the movie especially alive. In some unexpected way it might be compared to the more amazing Frances Ha, though there must be better examples of following a young woman through her struggles for purpose and place in an ordinary, contemporary world. On difference is certainly that the title Character (Eleanor) has suffered a huge disaster and doesnu0026#39;t quite show it. She seems out of sorts, but not on the edge of ruin. Chastain is somehow remarkable, anyway, though, playing her part with feeling but not overplaying it. Itu0026#39;s the writing and direction that needed a little tilting into reality.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIf you are wondering about the other two movies, read on: the idea is not exactly new, but still adds depth. The Him and Her movies show a series of events from two different points of view, which of course is how life works. This version (Her) is from the womanu0026#39;s point of view, and is maybe the best for me because I really like Chastain. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBeware of the third movie, however—which has the suffix: Them. This is a mash of the first two, a shortened single version that apparently lacks the potentially probing aspects of the two halves, which are sometimes released together as a marathon version that is not the combined Them.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI suggest giving this one an honest try. Itu0026#39;s really better than some of the complaints if taken just as it stands, alone. Whether you should then see the Him version then depends on you.”

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