Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014)

Director: Ned Benson. Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt. 123 mi. Rated R. Drama.

A loving young intelligent couple lose their baby son. Their pain is so raw, they have no more tears to cry, and nothing else to say. They can no longer live with themselves - let alone live with each other. Rarely have I seen a film and its characters and all their discussions help the viewer feel a character's crude pain to such magnitude - by avoiding the discussion. Even tearjerkers like Rabbit Hole or The Fault in Our Stars have a glimmer of glamour to them. But not here. I would tell people in similar situations to avoid this film.

PS: Disclaimer from Roger Ebert's website:

"Writer-director Ned Benson originally conceived it two movies retelling the same story from the perspectives of the wife (Jessica Chastain) and the husband (James McAvoy). Chastain told Vulture that in the version focused on the title character, she's just playing the character, and in the version focusing on the husband, she's playing the husband's subjective perception of that same character. After its debut at the 2013 Toronto film festival, this diptych was purchased by the Weinstein company, whose boss Harvey Weinstein decided that a pair of films that ran four-plus hours and repeated key moments were a tough commercial sell; Benson was therefore ordered to re-edit both films into a combined version, subtitled "Them". "

I doubt I'll spend four more hours to watch Her and Him. Sounds very creative, but don't see the reason to experience all this sadness three times.

PPS: The Debt, Take ShelterCoriolanusTree of LifeThe HelpLawless, Zero Dark Thirty, Mama, and Interstellar. It's safe to say Jessica Chastain does not do bad movies. Amazing how she has exploded into our lives in the past four years.

Mo says:

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