“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” and “My Old Lady”

For Marie,who asked that I continue with my film commentary, and for Shirley who likes to read my cinema thoughts,I can only write that the last two films I have seen have disappointed. They should have been better. The story lines were interesting & the actors for the most part held their own. Why then did “My Old Lady” and ” The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” keep me from timely expounding ?

Both films shared common themes: suicide & escapism . The tempo of ” Eleanor Rigby” was way slower than the Beatle Song it alludes to. Loneliness is what the viewer felt sitting in the theatre for fifteen minutes before the first interesting line was heard,and it was addressed to a pet goldfish as “Hello, Ralph”.

James McAvoy is crazy in love with Jessica Chastain. He warns her to be easy on his heart. He only has one. They chew red licorice sticks together;they have and lose a baby boy. They go back to their parents’ homes at thirty-three, and try to escape pain. Viola Davis, Wm. Hurt and Isabelle Huppert ( of “Lace Maker” fame) try to help or at best hollowly philosophize.All this is enervating and exasperating for the audience. My friend Mary remarked that Chastain’s forehead has not a wrinkle of grief. Jessica’s frozen forehead makes her look hollow and the dark eye shadow looks garish in trying to give her some depth of feeling. McAvoy is the star actor here. J.C. seems like two separate people pre and post baby. She ,per usual, asks too much work from her audiences.

Kevin Kline is the disappointment in “My Old Lady”. I normally love his personas,but he channeled Robin Williams so obviously that his manic alcoholic rages seemed like practice mimics. Maggie Smith & Kristin Scott Thomas were wonderful,but the rather moralistic tone left me cold. Neither film was in any way romantic except for the Parisian setting & the graveyard scene.I guess unloved children,or those who feel unloved only have hope for happiness when they find each other. Dual families & lots of withholding & lies do not a romantic comedy make.