A woman and man seemingly so in love finds their marriage is shaken to the core when life throws them a devastating curve. Now this New York couple must try to understand each other as they cope with loss and attempt to reclaim the life and love they once had.Written by
Cannes Film Festival
Interesting combined with "Her" but alone it is too routine to recommend
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Him (2013)
This is part of a two segment movie about a couple recovering from tragedy (losing a young child) told from the point of view of the mother and father separately. Like "Her," this one is mostly about the protagonist, with some key elements from the relationship unravelling. And like "Her" there is very little about the grieving or the actual tragedy. We are supposed to be dropped into their lives long enough later to be in their individual recoveries.
The father here is James McAvoy, and he's good, but he doesn't have the intensity and range of Jessica Chastain, who carries the "Her" movie so well. The supporting cast is thinner here, too—Viola Davis makes only a tangential appearance, and there is little of Isabelle Hupert and none of William Hurt, who both make "Her" rather special. So here we have the somewhat clichéd "friends at a bar" as McAvoy's clan, and it's nothing much.
It's tough to judge all of this because I saw "Her" first and so the plot itself was new to me then, and here it is simply the retelling of the same story. So what was most interesting of all was the re-telling of the overlapping sections, seeing the events from different eyes. This wasn't pushed hard, which is fine (this is no "Rashoman"), and so it just makes the pair of movies gel.
Beware of the third movie, however—which has the suffix: "Them." I haven't see it (and won't), but it is apparently a mash of the first two, a shortened single version that apparently lacks the potentially probing aspects of the two halves seen singley or together. The two separate movies are sometimes shown or released as a marathon version that is not the same as the shortened, combined Them. So see one of the two single versions and go from there.
Advice: "Him" alone is not as satisfying as "Her," for commons reasons like the depth of acting as well as the range of characters. Chastain's version is better by far, but if you do see "Her" first, I think "Him" adds another layer that is satisfying, and not redundant except in just the right moments.
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