First Hit: Slow, sullen, and it seemed like pieces were missing to have the film be engaging.
This film is one of three, I think. There is a “Them” meaning that there is also a “He” and a “She”. Will we ever see them? Probably not, because this one, “Them”, just didn’t have the goods to make the story interesting enough to see more.
Not that there weren't moments in this film that the dialogue wasn’t interesting, it is that the spaces between the interesting moments were few and far between. The audience finally figures out that Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) are married, had and lost a small child, and Eleanor tries to kill herself (the opening scene).
Dialogue between Professor Friedman (Viola Davis) and Eleanor were highlight moments as were a few moments of dialogue between Conor and his father Spencer (Ciaran Hinds), especially at his father's restaurant. However, most of the film was watching Eleanor’s angst without having much context as to how or why her child died or why she was so lost.
Chastain was interesting and aloof in this role. Her look was great but one cannot carry a film without giving the audience something to chew on and think about. McAvoy was better because his role did have more dialogue; however it was hampered by the overall story. Davis was great. She used the most of her small but pivotal role to get the audience engaged. Hinds was equally good in his very small role. William Hurt (as Julian Rigby) was strong as the quite inward father who tries not to preach to his daughter. His story about almost losing Eleanor in the ocean was extremely powerful. Isabelle Huppert (as Mary Rigby) was also very good and I felt she was a great choice to be Eleanor’s mother. Ned Benson both wrote and directed this film and unfortunately it seemed really long.
Overall: This film had a point but seemed to spend its time dancing everywhere else but with an engaging story.