It's always great when festival films can hold onto that excitement even over a year from their premiere. Perhaps that magic comes from the intrigue in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby's conceit. The content of the film is nothing new, just approached in a special way. A couple drift apart due to an unspeakable tragedy and try to make sense of the world. Sprinkled with introspective insights and anchored by terrific performances, it's truly bolstered through its enigma. Now I decided to watch Her first, arguably the more acclaimed of the pair, at least for Jessica Chastain. Although the director states that the films can be watched in any order, the premiere started with Him and in hindsight perhaps it offers key context that I should've dived into first, but I quite prefer the way I watched it even though the latter suffered.
Knowing that it has a counterpart film gives Her an enigma and the film is enchanting, benefiting from a sparing use of James McAvoy. This is the Chastain show and she's the best I've seen her so far. Sometimes it teeters on being quirky for the sake of quirkiness the way indie movies do, but its subversive way it acknowledges and rejects clichés rings too true and dig deep. Perhaps as a result it is quite clichéd, but the nuanced and heavy hearted texture of the film with the soft autumnal cinematography and use of music makes it a human experience. It's such a melodic, delicate, intimate, introspective, melancholic and ultimately heartbreaking look at the pain of moving on, emotionally and in Eleanor Rigby's case, physically as she finds herself compelled to drift from place to place hoping that she can start fresh but never does. It's very satisfying that the film met high expectations, at least this half of the experiment.
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