Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Yes, that is the lead female character’s name. Her parents met at a Beatles concert and dad’s last name is Rigby. This film is all about relationships, emotions and growing through experiences, either apart or together. Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) is the very bright, introspective, educated, some-what emotive daughter of an intellectual college professor (William Hurt) and a free spirited French mother (Isabelle Huppert ) who is a musician. She spent her early years growing up in an idyllic, nurturing setting in the burbs. She has fallen deeply, madly in love with Conor (James McAvoy) who is really not the kind of man her parents want for her but they love her and the relationship blossoms. Together they have to face a life altering event, both together and apart, as so many of us in real life have to do. But the journey if different when seen through each of their eyes. The version of the film “THEM” is a compilation of two other original films in existence, titled “Him” and “Her”.

If you were fortunate enough to have seen the ThirtySomething episode where Nancy and Elliot have a tense double date with Hope and Michael, followed by an tense argument, it was told in four separate 15 minute segments, one each through the eyes of each of the 2 participants and 2 observers, then you will get the drift that first time director Ned Benson was aiming for. Different points of view. Do men and women view and experience life processes and events differently, which is a rather rhetorical question.

This is not a date night film or one that will leave you light hearted in the end. It is serious stuff and you, the viewer, will be riding a bit of an emotional roller coaster and come through it a little coaster-broke and damp at the end.

The families of both of the main characters are brought into play by necessity, for they love these two and have also been impacted by the tragic event. Conor’s dad (Ciaran Hinds) and Elenor’s sister (Jess Weixler) each interact with their own family member in ways that pull them away from the memories of the event, yet further their growth. Details are revealed little by little through the course of the film, as the viewer realizes that each of them, Eleanor and Conor, are indeed focusing on very different things as they move throughout the adjustment period, in very different ways. Conor, as a man, deals quickly and intensely and moves on while Eleanor, as a female, must move much more slowly and methodically, coming to terms with what she can as well as those aspects which she may never ever come to terms with.

It may be a bit of a film relationship commitment; buying into the situation that seeing “Them” will be an incomplete experience without also viewing “Him” and “Her” but anyone who has even a casual interest in the dynamics of male/female relationships with bite for the three as a unit. I had read, in doing some research, that the second movie usually won viewers' over to that particular character's side, regardless of whether the film was "Him" or "Her”. The movie’s score was unique in tone and helped to pull the viewer into the emotional soup. One press viewer was moved to tears by the relationship dynamics. The pace is a little slow and brooding at time. We are just not used to quiet extended scenes in today’s films and in this film, there are many.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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