Eleanor Rigby Too Much of a Good Thing

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“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” is one of those films that I really wanted to like. It is one that people should like because after all, it has a stellar cast, Jessica Chastain as the title character and James McAvoy as the male lead, a strong supporting cast including Viola Davis in a small but memorable role as a college professor, and a poignant storyline.

Somehow, though, it was just hard to care about the main characters much less whether or not they got back together or not. Without giving too much away, the plot of “Eleanor Rigby” revolves around a young couple that separates after the wife makes a failed suicide attempt following a tragedy. Without revealing what that tragedy is, it is worth noting that other films have also explored a similar theme and pulled it off much better than writer and director Ned Benson does here.

Originally, Benson was going to shot this movie as two films with one told from the wife’s point of view and the other from the husband’s–and it shows. This film could have really used a good editor and been trimmed by a good 30 to 45 minutes. It seems that Benson is of the school that more is better when actually less would have been far better.

When the big secret is finally revealed and the audience learns what drove them apart, it is more of a letdown then a revelation. The same goes with the ending. It wasn’t unexpected but by that point, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” I was just happy it was finally over.