Though it became yet another film with strong women to get killed by the critics, the Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a moving, satisfying, wonderful love story. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise. Cinematic purists all cried about the longer version, the 200 minute double of Her and Him, that wasn’t shown, making a big drama out of the cut because god forbid someone should try to make money. Most people – people with real jobs out in the world – probably don’t have time to sit in a movie theater that long, hence the shorter version. But of course, critics killed it so there it lay. Once it hits VOD others can catch up with it and say “wow, what a great movie. How come I never heard anything about it?” And so it goes.

Eleanor Rigby Her/Him opens in Los Angeles on October 10 at the Landmark.

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  • John

    Saw The Them version. I thought the actors were excellent, but quite a bit better than the film, itself. However, I will def. be seeing Him and Her in the eaters, as well. I want to keep supporting this film(s).

  • phantom

    I was so disappointed with the critics crapping all over ‘Them’ (58 Metacritic) mainly because I knew that this may be the oh-so crucial first impression the Academy will look at right before opting to ignore it, but I still have hope that since ‘Him & Her’ will come out closer to the voting, THAT version will be the one still fresh in voters’ minds and if the critics get it right this time (70 Metacritic at the moment), with just the right amount of Weinstein push, it may just sneak in here (lead actress) and there (original screenplay)…

    OT: Sasha, I’ll finish the Gugu Mbatha-Raw piece sometime tomorrow, I will send it then if you still think it’s a good idea. Also, Eleanor Rigby made me realize something fascinating : The Ladies of ‘The Help’ are on fire ! Viola Davis (headlining a huge TV hit + 2 acclaimed supporting performances (Rigby, Get on up)), Octavia Spencer (headlining her own TV show, 2 acclaimed supporting performances (Black & White, Get on up), Emma Stone (female lead of a summer tentpole + Woody Allen lead + Oscar-talk for an Innaritu film); Jessica Chastain (three lead roles in prestige pics + a supporting role in one of the most anticipated films of 2014); Cicely Tyson (Emmy nomination for reprising her Tony-winning role in A Trip to Bountiful); Allison Janney ( 2(!) Emmy wins this year one for comedy, one for drama)

    …and the Bennett girls are doing pretty well, too : Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game, Begin Again, Laggies), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games), Carey Mulligan (her Daldry-directed West End play was so successful that it will come to Broadway next year, that seemed to be her project between a stunning 2013 (lead in a big hit (The Great Gatsby) and a part in a masterpiece (Inside Llewyn Davis) and a potentially stunning 2015 (Suffraggette, Far from a madding crowd, inevitable Tony campaign for Skylight)

    not to mention the Bridesmaids : Kristen Wiig is riding high with The Skeleton Twins, Rose Byrne was the female lead of a well-received summer smash hit (and is in Annie, too), Melissa McCarthy is a critic-proof movie star now (Tammy) with a well-received festival hit still on the way (St. Vincent), Wendi McLendon-Covey headlines her own show, The Goldbergs (a pleasant surprise for me and she is excellent in it), Maya Rudolph will be in Inherent Vice and Ellie Kemper will headline her own show on NBC (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

    Bottom line : the cast members of these female centred hit films are doing spectacularly well, so shouldn’t there be automatically MORE of those kind of films ?

  • Isaac David Quesada
  • I was shocked how differently the versions played. I really disliked Them, but loved Her/Him. The latter allows both actors to really shine, and gives the story more room to grow; there’s nuance and shades of meaning where Them had bland “objectivity.”

  • Kane

    Wait I thought this was rated fine by critics?

  • K. Bowen

    In the Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, I still strongly suspect Billy Shears, possibly with the help of Admiral Halsey and Uncle Albert.

  • K. Bowen

    But the truth is, as much as I love Jessica Chastain, she’s a bit of a figment of film blogs and doesn’t have the drawing power yet. She’s a little like Naomi Watts around 2002 or so. I’m hoping Interstellar can help her in this regard, in a Marion Cotillard in Inception sort of way.

  • Kane

    By the way on Metacritic two bad reviews and 4 mixed reviews come from women. That said I don’t understand how the Him and Her are rated better, maybe they just don’t feel like the cut of the longer movie works better?

  • Andrew S

    I saw the Them version and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to see a longer version of this film, but really liked it for what it is and would recommend it. Critics have become hyperbolic and can kill a movie so easily these days. I think that it should be required that all critics make a film and experience others critiquing it before getting on their high horse.

  • Stergios

    “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Her” make for one of the most unique, bold, original, deeply felt and hauntingly beautiful movie experiences that I have had in a movie theater this year. I mean, I truly believe that mere words cannot do justice to the brilliance of Ned Benson’s vision. The whole project is simply terrific. It’s just the “Them” version that feels utterly pointless, if you’ve seen “Him” and “Her”, like I have. “Them” is far from a bad film, like some review could imply, it just feels a little too bland, especially when compared to the great films “Him” and “Her” are. Anyone who will decide to spend time and money for the full version will be rewarded, trust me. A combined version of the two brilliant films Ned Benson has written and directed with Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy as his leads brings nothing new to the project, it’s just a commercial movement from The Weinstein Company, which releases all of the films. It’s quite ironic that “Them”, where the distribution company’s interest is focused more than any other version of this film project, is such a disappointment when compared to the terrific “Him” and “Her” films. Both films are spectacular. And Jessica Chastain’s performance in both of them is beyond superb. Really, really wow. I don’t know if it sounds dumb to say “wow” but I can’t help it: Wow! It’s a gigantic performance to say the least, more than worthy of an Oscar win (especially in “Her” version). She immerses herself into her role in a way I think it’s almost impossible for an actor to do so. There’s obviously not a limit to the depth she can bring into a role. Her chemistry with the brilliant James McAvoy is incredible as well. Any movies lover has to see “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Her”. I’ve seen the films at Athens Film Festival and absolutely LOVED them.

  • The critics liked it well enough. Just not what anyone would consider a rave response.

    Harvey’s dumped this, after all that fuss. It’ll make just about no headway in the awards race.

  • Patrick

    I saw DOER about 2 weeks ago and absolutely hated it. I specifically went with the impression that both Chastain and Davis had shots at getting nominations and I can’t see how that is possible. Part of it is not necessarily their fault. I found the story to be boring (we never REALLY find out what the “crisis” is) and the movie it self never flowed. It was extremely choppy with some very weird conversations that made no sense (McAvoy and his father in the room with the music playing to loud, Chastain and her mom after she took the car). Davis was the best part of that movie but it wasn’t something that I would nominate unless the Supporting category is extremely weak this year. Now granted, maybe it didn’t play out well because we didn’t get a chance to see the unedited version, but after what I seen, I am not sure another hour and 20 minutes would have helped It out very much

  • Film Fatale

    In this case, the streamlined cut is much more emotionally powerful. Loved THEM, disliked HIM/HER. THEM is a much more engaging film, both romantic and tragic, and has dramatic urgency in whether the pair will ever pick up the pieces. HIM/HER is bloated, pretentious and filled with scenes that do nothing to drive the story forward; actually, the HIM segment is largely superfluous and lightweight when compared with HER. Sometimes shorter really is better, and that’s true here. I felt so much for both of them in THEM; the apartment scene in the final reel packed a punch, as did the final scene in the park. In HIM/HER, the structure is so loose that when HER, which is first, approaches its final scenes, including the goodbye with Viola Davis which was poignant in THEM, there’s very little feeling. THEM also benefits from establishing their relationship/chemistry in the very first scene. When that scene replays in HIM, it is muted and hardly affecting. The entire HIM segment, with its inflated Bill Hader and Nina Arianda scenes, has no idea what it is about.

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