Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Review by James Colt Harrison

We won’t pull any punches on this dreary film. It wins my choice as Worst Film of the Year, hands down. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is part of a trilogy as written by first-time director Ned Benson. Perhaps if we’re lucky, it will be his only venture into directing.

Benson originally conceived the film as a three-parter called Him, Her and Them, each part as seen through the eyes of James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain and then rolling it all up into one lump of dough in Them. It’s the story of the couple’s attempt to reclaim their lives after something (what is never explained until the end of the movie) tears them apart.

There are massive holes in the plot as big as the Grand Canyon. For instance—and this is not a spoiler--- in the very beginning of the film we see Chastain jumping off a bridge in a suicide attempt. There is no motive, no build-up to the event and therefore we are totally puzzled as to why she is doing it. Why, what caused her to come to this point? Was she having a Bad Hair day? It is not explained in the next scene or the next 10,000 scenes. The script is a bafflement of innuendoes, mysterious silences and dialogue that doesn’t explain why either McAvoy or Chastain signed on to do this movie. If anything, it will put the nail into the coffin of their careers.

The 122 minutes of the film seem like four hours as there are massive pauses in the dialogue, seemingly five minutes between each word spoken. By the time they cough up their lines you have gotten in a good twenty minutes of a nap. It is rumored movie mogul Harvey Weinstein cut the trilogy into the 122 minutes. He would have been more charitable had he cut out all 122 minutes except for the credits and ended up with an Orson Welles masterpiece with only the titles.

Ireland’s Ciaran Hinds plays McAvoy’s successful restaurant-owner father. Mr. Hinds is a fine actor and does what he can with his part of a man who is also giving up. Perhaps he read the rest of the script.

The only actor to come out on top is the lovely Viola Davis as a campus professor. She could read the phone book and get a stunning performance out of it. She acts as a much-needed mentor to Chastain’s befuddled character. Go see the part with Ms. Davis in it; skip the rest of the film. This movie is a dud.

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