The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, one of two films about the dissolution of one marriage, is told the wrong way around, and it struggles in vain to keep our attention, much more so even than its equally fragmented, stubbornly incomplete other, which is titled The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him.
The titular Eleanor (Jessica Chastain), from whose point of view this particular film is told (as opposed to that of her husband, Conor, whose life is the spine of Him), spends much of her time like a fish out of water. She doesn’t know what to do, wanders around New York City, takes a class at college at the behest of her father, a taciturn psychology professor, and ultimately (perhaps) meets up with her husband again. Well, perhaps she does.
This film is just plain wrongheaded, and at times it is perplexing how director Ned Benson could have lost the plot so badly. It is one thing to edit scenes that appear in both parts (in other words, those rare instances when Eleanor and Conor interact with each other) in a different way and to have the characters change their dialogue ever so slightly in order to subtly shade the perceptions that we ought to share, but he has also gone and altered the structure.
(Still of James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain. © 2014 – The Weinstein Company)