Let's get something out of the way; I feel bad being overly critical of this film. I feel bad, not because my lady parts are awash with McAvoy love or because I have a penchant for the titular song from The Beatles, but because if I had seen the Him & Her separate versions of this story - exactly how the team behind the film has wanted it to be - I'd probably enjoy it a lot more than I did. There is an ache here that, knowing audience predilections for having a lack of a attention span, writer/director Ned Benson had his artistic tongue cut short by distribution. Unfortunately, that meant sandwiching two films into one and, somewhere along the line, the essence seems to have been lost.
See, the elements are all here and that's what's mildly frustrating about the whole affair. There is some weighty performances from the pair who adeptly handle the sorrow with unnerving realism, with something visceral tormenting them beneath the surface. McAvoy, one of the few actors who can transform into the character effortlessly and accurately portray varying levels of emotion, is stunning as Connor - even wrapping his tongue around the American dialogue effectively well. Chastain excels, this is very much her vehicle to astutely exude this lost mother, doing so without giving in to cliched wails or overacting. In fact, her arc really works well in the circumstances, compellingly real and Chastain enthralls you.
Some of the side characters have their mouths stuffed with some philosophical platitudes that feel unwarranted once they've vocalised them, which is more of a problem of independent romps that need to be serious (and much more a problem with my general feeling of these tropes). And, not to be ignored, but Viola Davies and Bill Hader are those much needed lighter characters that still encompass the support for the two leads (and whatever interaction they have, particularly between Chastain and Davies, is much more watchable than the couple at the core). The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is okay, but not great and certainly not the movie anyone wanted to put out there. With hope, the two original versions will be released and we can see how it is supposed to be. Because right now, it's a crying shame.