By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Written and Directed by: Ned Benson
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler, Nikki M. James, and Jeremy Shamos
MPAA Rating: R (for language and brief drug use)
Selig Rating: MATINEE
Runtime: 123 Min.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is the story of a couple dealing with a tragedy in their lives.  When Conor (James McAvoy) locks their dead son’s things away in a closet, his wife Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) attempts to drown herself.  Each seems to be trying to come to terms with their grief without turning to each other or anyone else. 
When the suicide attempt fails, Eleanor disappears.  We know that she has gone to her parent’s home to stay with them.  Even with her parents and sister around her, she resists healing.  Conor goes crazy with worry about Eleanor and the emotions he is feeling are worn on his sleeve though he, too, cannot address them and allow them to heal.
The supporting characters in the film all do an outstanding job as concerned friends and family.  Conor’s support group is made up of Bill Hader as Conor’s best friend, Stuart, the chef at his bar/restaurant and Ciarán Hinds who portrays Spencer Ludlow, Conor’s estranged restauranteur father.  Between the two of them, I can see why Conor is messed up.  They are just as messed up as he is.
Eleanor’s support system consists of he father, Julian Rigby (Willliam Hurt); her mother Mary (Isabelle Huppert); her sister Katy (Jess Weixler); and her instructor, Professor Friedman (Viola Davis).  Of the two, this group is much better equipped to help someone work through their grief, IF they are allowed to help.
We watch as Conor and Eleanor slowly work their way through the stages of grief.  At times this film gets difficult to deal with as the frustration in you builds up watching two people who love each other fight the healing that is necessary for them to ever move forward. 
For all of the frustration, it is an extremely well written, well made film.  This is the first of three versions to be released.  The first, this one, is called “THEM” and follows them without taking sides.  The next few months will see the release of the “HIM” and “HER” versions.  I am looking forward to see how the director, Ned Benson, handles the change of view as we see the story from each side of the coin.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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