Following the death of their only offspring, an infant son named Cody, married New Yorkers Conor Ludlow and Eleanor Rigby - a struggling restaurateur and an academic working on her Ph.D. in Anthropology before Cody arrived in their lives - hit a rough spot in their relationship. Although still loving Conor, El is uncertain if she can bear what Conor represents to her and bear the grief even if Conor is no longer in her life. Following an incident, El decides to disappear from Conor's life, she taking refuge at the suburban home of her parents Julian and Mary Rigby, an academic himself and a musician respectively. Just to keep her mind active and off the thought of Conor or Cody, Julian suggests to El that she return to college and he pulls some strings for El possibly to enter into his colleague Professor Lilian Friedman's class. Despite being a therapist himself, he also tries to get El to see a therapist to deal with her grief. Meanwhile, Conor is facing his own emotional and ...Written by
Warning to readers of reviews of "Disappearance..."
Apparently different versions exist. This IMDb site lists the running time as a little over two hours, but the version I saw was listed at well over three hours. It was very long, basically two movies back to back. Many of the scenes were shown twice, from the perspective of the two principals, with differences that were sometimes striking and sometimes very subtle. I found it fascinating, but I can imagine that some viewers will become impatient. (My bladder did -- don't go into this one with a large Coke.) I would like to see it again on video so I can go back and forth and compare versions of events, but I am worried that I'll end up renting a shorter version. The existence of different versions makes it a moving target -- it's difficult to review, and even more difficult for a prospective viewer to evaluate on the basis of published reviews, if you don't know which version the reviewer saw. They say the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is three days. Well, the difference between a good movie and a bad movie may be as little as three minutes, edited out or left in.
I'm giving this movie 9 stars because of a single line of dialog that blew me away and changed my perception of a lot of experiences in my own life. You can't ask for more than that from a movie. It's a comment made by one of the minor characters (the waitress) -- almost a throwaway line, really -- about the effect that people have on each other in relationships. I don't even know if it is included in the shorter version of the movie.
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